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The Pysch-out Factor of Student Loans! Nov. 27, 2017

Stress about money and finances is more common than ever, but for many people with student loan debt, those stress levels are much higher than any other demographic. According to a survey of more than 1,000 student loan borrowers (Student Loan Hero), many respondents reported experiencing feelings of anxiety and social isolation, as well as physical effects like insomnia and headaches, due to their mountains of student loan debt.

The Breakdown

The survey provided many options of physical and psychological symptoms of stress for the respondents to choose from. The results were rather shocking.

Psychological feelings and symptoms

·         Social isolation – 74%

·         Apprehension or dread – 55%

·         Irritability – 55%

·         Depression – 52%

·         Restlessness – 53%

·         Tenseness – 51%

Average percent of respondents who reported psychological feelings and Worried CoupleThe Pysch-out Factorsymptoms – 56.67%

Physical feelings and symptoms

·         Headaches – 72%

·         Sleepless nights – 65%

·         Muscle tension – 56%

·         Nausea – 50%

·         Jumpiness – 21%

Average percent of respondents who reported physical feelings and symptoms – 52.8%

This means that in either case, more than half of the respondents stated that they had experienced visible, pertinent, significant symptoms of stress related to their student loan debt.

This not surprising, considering that many graduates are leaving school and entering the workforce with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt on average. One last statistic from this survey that does not seem to fit exactly into any of the above categories:

When asked if they feared their worries over student debt were spiraling out of control, 61% of respondents said, “Yes.”

Wow. That’s intense.

While there is no quick fix, there are a few things that many graduates can do to reduce their stress about extreme student loan debt.

Find a better repayment plan.The Pysch-out Factor

For many graduates struggling to enter a sometimes-hostile workplace, income-driven repayment plans are a viable option. These plans can lower your monthly payments to 10-20% of your monthly discretionary income.

In other words, your leftover spending money after your essential bills and expenses is what your new monthly loan payment will reflect.

One thing to keep in mind is that, generally, only federal student loans are able to be applied to these income-driven plans. Private loans often do not qualify for government-provided options like this.

Both federal and private loans can often be refinanced, however. There are several student loan refinancing companies that offer low variable-interest and fixed-interest rates.

Work on your credit.

Student loan debt is bad enough; if you have other damaging credit items in your history, it might be helpful to you to work on those issues in the more immediate term, and free up some other options.

For example, if you can improve your credit by reducing or removing credit card debt, you can free up some extra cash monthly to help you meet your student loan payments. Improving your credit can allow you to seek better interest rates on personal loans, which you could use to reduce your student loan debt by consolidation.

If your credit is in very poor shape, you may want to consider working with a credit repair company. Just remember that student loans cannot be fixed by bankruptcy; thankfully there are plenty of other options available to most consumers. Be smart, work on what you can, and don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it. Try your best to keep from sweeping it under the rug; face things head-on, and you’ll make it through.

 

Negotiate Your Loans and Save Big Bucks! Nov. 21, 2017

Who Doesn't Love A Good Bargain?Negotiate Your Loans

Many people love a bargain; many modern shoppers are reviving the pride our grandparents felt in finding amazing deals. With the rise of discounted-goods outlets and the mainstreaming of thrift, vintage, and resale stores, a good deal is within most everyone’s reach. If you are into the haggling and auction scene, you know better than most the kinds of amazing buys you can get by being just a little assertive in your shopping habits.

Why are we not as assertive in our loan shopping habits?

It may be that we are assertive in some aspects of our loan shopping, but not in the right areas. David Osborn and Paul Morris wrote a book, Wealth Can’t Wait, which climbed to the upper tiers of the New York Times best-seller charts. They claim that people will often negotiate the price of the house they choose to buy, but they never even consider negotiating with their lender.

“If you negotiate down one-eighth of (an interest-rate percentage) point and live there 30 years, it could be $50,000 in savings. You should negotiate harder over the money than you do over the price of the house.”Negotiate Your Loans

Miron Lulic, the founder and CEO of the financial-services platform SuperMoney, said that few people negotiate their car loans either. Citing the Federal Reserve, Lulic said that 76% of buyers negotiate the price of the car, but only 31% negotiate their loan on the car. Dealers know that buyers will often focus on the payment, not the total cost of ownership. The dealer’s finance office can hide ballooning payments from prospective buyers farther down the road, unless the buyer is savvy and pays close attention.

To save money on any loan, including home, auto, and personal loans, start by shopping around. Most consumers should try to apply with at least two different lenders, say Osborn and Morris. The chief financial analyst at Bankrate, Greg McBride, agrees.

“Doing so gives you a couple of advantages. One, it helps you sort out who’s got the best deal. And it also gives you somewhat of a bridge in negotiating things like rates and fees paid,” McBride says.

He also suggests applying to these different lenders in the same day, but don’t stress about the multiple credit inquiries hurting your credit scores. Multiple inquiries within one thirty-day period are treated as one, in most cases.

Regarding home loans and mortgages, McBride warns consumers to watch out for so-called “junk fees.” Morris and Osborn concur, specifically naming high processing fees or delivery charges.

“Are they entitled to a $100 processing fee, sure. One thousand dollars? That’s excessive,” said Morris.

Osborn provides a second tip to savvy consumers: if a mortgage lender says there are no closing costs, or insanely low closing costs, it is likely that the lender is charging a higher interest rate to make their money.

For auto buyers, one thing to realize is that the average new-car loan term is running close to six years (70 months) these days. Lulic recommends looking into refinancing an expensive car loan after a few years. “You can save a ton of money, maybe even shorten the life of the loan,” he says.

For many consumers, there is no harm in negotiating lower interest rates and better terms. It’s a fact of life that you need credit in this modern age, but that does not mean you need to go bankrupt to have the life you want. Be smart, be savvy, and fight for your rights to affordable, appropriate loan terms. 

New App to Help You Avoid Overdraft Fees! Nov. 18, 2017

A New Option To Avoid Overdraft FeesAvoid Overdraft Fees

Modern banking affords consumers a lot of options that our grandparents did not have. With the prevalence of convenient payment options (contactless payment systems over your smartphone, hi-tech chips on cards, and more), it is easier than ever to pay for your purchases. But with that ease comes the danger of overdraft fees. Sometimes, we don’t always pay close attention to the speed at which our funds dwindle in our bank accounts.

No one wants to get hit with an overdraft fee. Most of the time, it’s not because you were intentionally spending money you knew you didn’t have; often, it more that you misjudged how much you actually had in your account.

The easy solution is just to switch off your overdraft protection. However, that means your payment method could be declined at the register. While that is definitely going to be embarrassing, it is probably better to just blush and move on, knowing you don’t have a sudden $33 dollar drop in your account when you already didn’t have a lot of money. And now you have to pay that back, on top of covering the charge that got you that overdraft fee.

But now there’s another option, one that can help you avoid embarrassing “oopsies” at registers and hefty charges that follow you into the next paycheck.

Meet Dave.Avoid Overdraft Fees

No. Not creepy Dave from down the block.

No. Not toothy-smile Dave from the local Bag’n’Buy.

Dave, the helpful finance app.

Dave can be tied to your bank account to help monitor your finances and recurring expenses. Dave uses the same military-grade 128-bit SSL encryption tech that the big banks use to protect your information.

Dave can let you know when you are at risk of running an overdraft play in your bank account.

Like, if you cable bill is set to auto-draft tomorrow, but you had that huge gasoline charge earlier this week cause your sister borrowed the car and didn’t fill it back up…..

Dave can even offer you a little loan to keep you afloat.

Within Dave’s interface, you can ask to borrow $25, $50, or $75 to tide you over until your next paycheck pops in. These micro-loans are actually free, no strings attached.

For real.

No joke.

Dave is my new best friend.

When you pay Dave back, you are given the option to leave a tip, anywhere from 5-15%. For every % point of tip you choose to donate, the team behind Dave plants a tree. Tips are not required, but are definitely encouraged.

It’s like a payday loan, but without those hefty fees.

Does it is a little too good to be true? We knew you would ask, and yes, there is a monthly for the app.

$1.00 per month.

Ahem. Yes.

Just think – if you keep the app for three years, and on month 36 Dave helped you avoid a $37 overdraft charge, the thing just paid for itself.

For many millennials, paycheck to paycheck is a reality, and one little mistake in budgeting or one tiny splurge can throw the entire scheme into the furnace in a heartbeat. Dave understands, and the team behind Dave wants to help. For more information on this hot new app, check out Dave’s site.

And because we are all Groot, maybe get the app, take a tiny loan, and leave a tip to plant a few trees. Mother Nature thanks you. 

Avoiding Personal Loan Traps! Nov. 15, 2017

Get The Personal Loan, Avoid The TrapsAvoid Personal Loan Traps

With the holiday season fast approaching, many families are going to look to personal loans to help come up with the cash for the extra expenses associated with the end of the year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, New Year’s to Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, food and gifts can often overbalance a carefully constructed budget. Personal loans can free up a little more wiggle room for these once-a-year bills, but sometimes, shoppers do not know how some companies try to take advantage of desperate consumers at this hectic time of year. No matter where you shop for your next personal loan, here are some traps and pitfalls to watch out for.

Excessive fees

Personal loans often come with an origination fee. This fee can range anywhere within the 1-5% range, depending on the total amount and specific type of loan you are applying for. This fee will frequently be taken from your loan funds; this means that if you applied for a total loan amount of $1,000, you’ll actually only receive $950 in hand when you finalize the loan ($1,000 x 5% = $50). Sometimes, these fees are hidden in the fine print. Always assume there will be an origination fee, and if you cannot find that information in the paperwork, ask your lender to point it out. You might also want to inquire about any other fees your lender will assess on your loan.

Loan insurance charges

Some lending companies offer loan insurance; this is meant to provide some coverage to you, in case you miss a payment. There are also unemployment insurance options that can make loan payments on your behalf if you are out of work during your repayment term. Another popular option is life insurance on your loan, which will repay your loan if you should die before your loan is paid off. Now, all of these ideas sound like great options for the contingencies of modern life. Why not?

Instead of “loan life insurance,” why not consider a general life insurance policy, which can provide your family a means to handle any of your remaining debts and expenses when you pass; rather than being applied to only one specific loan, general life insurance can be used for any expenses your family needs. Regarding that unemployment insurance option, examine your situation carefully. Just how likely is it that you might lose your job while you are making payments on this loan? If it is not too likely, that is not an expense you necessarily need. Loan insurances like these are often expensive in the long run, and many policies contain extraordinarily specific loopholes that will more than likely not benefit you. If you really want to consider these options, inquire about how much the insurance will pay, and for how long (full payment amount for 3 months, partial payment amount for 6 months, etc.).

Sky-high interest ratesAvoid Personal Loan Traps

We know there are more factors than just interest that you need to consider when choosing a personal loan, but interest is a significant factor. Lenders use very different calculations to determine the interest rate you will pay, but a good average is 14% to 18%. Obviously, if your credit is poor rather than fair, you will be offered significantly higher interest rates, sometimes up to 25%. If your credit is good or great, on the other hand, you can perhaps see interest rates in the realm of 4% or so. Know your credit score before you apply, and be upfront with the lender about the state of your credit or lack thereof. If you know the kind of interest rate you should see, lenders will not be able to pull the wool over your eyes.

There are many benefits to obtaining personal loans, especially during this time of year. Just beware of a few crucial points throughout the process, know what you can realistically afford, and stick to your decisions and budget, no matter how great an offer might seem. 

Personal Loan Interest Calculations! Nov. 3, 2017

Better Credit History, Better Rates

Personal loans are a great, small-dollar option for situations when you need funds for short-term issues. Whether it’s a pile of medical bills or car trouble, when the need arrives, it is important that your cash loan be quick and easy to access. For many of us, it can be hard to determine what is an affordable rate of interest for a personal unsecured loan. To help clarify the best interest rates, we’re going to take a look at a basic example of personal loan interest.

Most personal loans have an interest rate between 12% and 24%. Depending on the borrower’s credit history and other qualifications, the lender can adjust the interest rate up or down to fit the situation. Generally speaking, a better credit history will result in a lower interest rate on the loan, whereas a credit history with past due payments, previous defaults, and collections will often lead to a higher interest rat, to offset the lender’s increased risk in offering credit to a borrower with poor credit.

Let’s Run Some Hypothetical Numbers

Let’s say you need a loan, for $1,200, and you want to have it paid back in full after 3 months.

First off, we need to establish some common financial loan terms so that you can navigate all of the lender’s fine print when shopping for the right loan.

You know you need $1,200. This is called the principal, or the amount you are looking to borrow.

You want to finish repaying the loan at the end of 3 months. This is called your loan term.

Interest is the extra money your lender will charge in order to service the loan; it is basically their profit. It’s what makes the situation worthwhile for them to take a chance lending you money. This interest is calculated as a percent of your principal. There are different ways that this interest can be calculated, including simple and compound interest, but generally speaking, most retail loans will be compounding loans.

Lets Crunch The Numbers Personal Loan Interest Calculations

Let’s assume you found a lender who is offering you the loan of $1,200 with a mid-range interest rate of 18%, compounded monthly, for a term of 3 months.

This means that at the end of Month 1, you will owe $472. That is $400 (1/3 of your principal), and 18% interest on that $400.

After you make that first payment, your remaining principal will be $800. Your second payment will be due at the end of the Month 2, and you will again owe $472. That is $400 from your principal, and another 18% interest on that amount.

At the end of Month 3, you will have one final payment of $472. That is the remaining $400 from your principal loan amount, and one last interest charge from your 18% interest rate.

All together, on that $1,200 loan, you paid out $216 in interest. Double-check the math, and 18% of $1,200 is….

$216.

$72 three times is also $216.

$472 three times is $1416, which is the same as $1200 + $216.

Don’t Fear The Interest!

So, essentially, no matter how it breaks down, or how your payments are structured, when you run the math

Personal Loan Interest Calculations

 on your loan, your interest should always come out the same at all levels – by payment, and as a whole. If it is not, something may be a little wrong with the way your lender is structuring your interest rate or interest payments, and needs to be examined more thoroughly. So, find a trusted lender, and don’t fear the interest!

Small Loan, not a Big Hassle Determine If They're Right For You! Nov. 1, 2017

Many people in this era need access to small-dollar personal loans rather than large-figure sums. They might need to pay for unexpected car repairs, or sky-rocketing medical bills, and probably do not have the cash set aside in advance of their emergency need. Small-dollar loans are designed to provide lower-income individuals and families with necessary funds on affordable repayment terms. They can be an ideal option for building or rebuilding credit, and can even help establish a foundation for other asset-building loans, like auto loans or mortgages. Because small-dollar loans (also known as small-figure loans) deal in small increments of money, they also tend to be short-term with quick repayment schedules.

What is required for a small-dollar loan?Small Loan Secured

Unlike a home or auto loan, small-dollar loans generally do not require collateral. Your interest rate will often be based on your creditworthiness. Your credit score and income history may be the primary factors a lender will choose to look at, but by no means are these items the be-all and end-all of the loan application process. A lender may choose to offer a small-dollar loan to a person with less-than-perfect credit; they interest rate attached to loan may be higher than it would for an applicant with a good or great credit rating, but it is often still affordable.

Where can you get a small-figure loan?

There are several different types of lenders that offer small-dollar loans.

Major banks

A few big-name banks offer small loans of around $3,000, and often have a processing fee. On average, this fee is usually around $75. Small-dollar loans from these large banks are generally based on the borrower’s income and credit score, and interest rates will vary, based on the applicant’s qualifications. One advantage of small-dollar or small-figure loans is that the interest rates are often fixed for the entire term of the loan.

Credit unions

Credit unions are a great option for small loans, though you generally are required to be a member of the union or become a member before you can take advantage of these offerings. Some credit unions offer loans in the $500 range, and members can even use their deposits as collateral to speed up approval on their loan. If you need a small-dollar or short-term loan badly, a credit union should be at the top of your list to check into, because the repayment terms are often more affordable than other options.

Online lenders

Online lending companies offer many loan options, some starting as low as $1,000. Borrowers can use the website’s tools to quickly determine what rates they may qualify for. Credit score, credit history, and proof of income will all be used to determine interest rates, though some also look at job status and education level to make their decision.

Payday loan store

There may be nothing easier than going to a payday loan business, because they do not check credit scores to make their decision. However, payday lenders should be a last resort for many people looking for a small-dollar or short-term loan, as they often charge exorbitant amounts of interest; interest rates have been reported as reaching 1,000% of the principal, or higher. They offer short-term cash advances in exchange for access to the borrower’s deposit account via post-dated check or electronic transfer authorization, and often require a lump-sum repayment, rather than installments. Often, a borrower who takes out a payday loan has trouble finding the funds to pay back the loan in-full and on-time, and may get trapped in a cycle of debt for weeks, months, or even years.

How can you decide if a loan is affordable?Small Loan

The National Consumer Law Center says that loans of less than $2,500 are only considered to be affordable if:

·         The attached interest rate is less than 36%

·         The terms of repayment offer three months amortization

·         The loan includes no balloon payments

If you are in need of some hard cash fast, contact Wise Loan for affordable small-dollar loans today!

Landing your Loan! Oct. 30, 2017

Getting loan approval on any type of loan these days is more difficult than it has been in the past. It is critical that a potential borrower provides a complete picture of their financial status and background so that the lender can make an unbiased, thorough review of their financial situation. In order for a borrower to have the best chance of securing a loan with the most favorable terms, there are several essential tasks every borrower should complete in advance of applying for a loan.

Determine what you want and need in a loanLanding your Loan

There are as many types of loans are there are types of borrowers. From mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and personal loans, you need to understand and make a decision on what type of loan is best for you when you begin your search for a loan. There are also secured loans; these work best for borrowers with less than perfect credit. By putting your home or vehicle up as collateral, you can qualify for better rates on a mortgage, car loan, or home equity loan. It’s best to know if you are willing to stake an asset on your loan, or not, before you apply. Offering sufficient collateral shows a lender that you are a responsible borrower, one who will do everything possible to repay your loan on time.

Decide where to borrow or not borrow

It is always smart to shop around, especially for financial services like loans. Depending on the type of loan you need, you can start by looking at local companies that have a reputation for providing affordable loans of type you are seeking. Check in with several institutions, and thoroughly compare their costs and interest rates. You should have a budget in place for terms you know you can afford before you speak to lenders. It is also important to have an idea about your “over-budget” range, which is a range of interest rates and monthly payments that you could make work in a pinch.

Build your credit score

If nothing else, you should know your credit history and current credit score before you speak to any lender. This can be done easily by checking your FICO score or by obtaining a full credit report any of the major consumer credit reporting agencies such as Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.  If you have some drama in your credit history, and if you can afford to wait on your loan, it might be a good idea to try to repair your credit first. Pay off old debts if possible. A higher credit score and cleaner credit history presents a better picture to potential creditors.

Establish a stable source of income

A good credit rating and score is important, but a stable, current income is equally important. It may also not be enough to have a current income; a stable history of income is also essential. Your chances of approval for a generous loan with favorable terms increase when you can show you are a responsible, contributing citizen. If you are self-employed, it is important that you can demonstrate multiple years of steady income through your business.

Know your whole story

It is important to pay close attention to your “debt-to-income ratio.” This is a representation of all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. This is a figure that lenders use to measure your ability to repay the money you have borrowed, and are seeking to borrow. When you apply for a loan, ask for as little as possible. The amount you owe makes up 30% of your FICO credit score. The less you owe, compared to what you could borrow, raises your credit score and can lower your loan interest rates.

Keep a tight rein on your expectationsLanding your Loan

Banks have a specific protocol for loan approval. During this process, make sure you know the sequence of events; although some loans can be “preapproved” instantly, the terms and conditions may not be available for days or weeks after the initial loan request is processed. Ask your loan office for advice on following up on your loan application.

The loan application process can be a daunting prospect; if the worst happens, and your loan is not approved, ask your lender for specific reasons behind their denial of your application. Be cautious about applying to other lenders. Too many loan applications submitted at around the same time can hurt your credit rating, and affect your chances of securing a loan approval moving forward.

 

How the Student Loan Market Became a Big Mess! Oct. 27, 2017

There are some things that we need ruined from time to time. “Adam Ruins Everything” does a great job of elaborating on the issues facing modern audiences, on everything from dieting to dog breeds. One of the newest episodes of this hit TruTV series deals with the student loans, including how and why there are so many problems facing college students now.

Adam Conover names one specific event as the tipping point which changed how student loans function in American society. This was the deregulation and privatization of Sallie Mae in the 90s. Sallie Mae was created in 1972 as a government institution charged with offering standardized loans to aspiring college students. In 1996, legislation was passed that transformed this government agency into a private corporation.

It is still private to this day, just like any other bank.

Private means profits Sallie Mae Debt

After the privatization of Sallie Mae, there was a concerted marketing effort to encourage students to take out more loans, as well as collecting on government fees. Sallie Mae even offered incentives to schools, if the institutions would use Sallie Mae as their financial aid company of choice for loans for their students.

The lack of fair competition and transparency led to a degradation of an idea that could otherwise provide a lot of benefit to society. Sallie Mae is cited as perpetrating many trespasses, including:

·         Bribing financial aid officers with cruises

·         Masquerading private representatives as college employees

·         Encouraging students to take out more debt than they needed

All of these, and more, became common practice, and directly led to today’s student loan crisis. Students are tempted to structure monthly payments so low that they subsequently fail to cover accruing interest, which causes principal balances to balloon, to the tune of some $1.3 trillion in recent years.

Now, a quarter of college students and graduates are falling behind on their student loans, with no end or hope in sight. Even bankruptcy is off the table; student loan obligations cannot be wiped clean upon a declaration of bankruptcy. Over 8 million student loan borrowers are currently listed as in default.

So, “How College Got So Evil” might not be such a bad title for a new segment from the sensational show that ruins everyday perceptions.

“Unlike other types of debt, if you default on a federal student loan, the government can garnish up to 15% of your wages, tax refunds, and social security benefits… And if your parents co-signed your loan, their income can be garnished, too…”

Sallie Mae, Gone But Not Forgotten Sallie Mae Debt

“In 2010, the government finally cut out middle men like Sallie Mae,” Adam says in this episode, “but it wasn’t enough. A generation of Americans have had to financially cripple themselves with debt just to get the basic education that will allow them to survive in today’s economy.”

For more information about the sources Adam’s team used to put this episode together, you can view their source list at their website. To watch the segment and hear it for yourself, check it out on YouTube.

If you need hep funding your education, and don’t want to get suckered into the pitfalls of a federal student loan, there are other options. Wise Loan specializes in some of them, so check us out today!

Five Tips for Financial Fitness! Oct. 4, 2017

Financial Fitness Tips  

With the end of summer and the holiday season fast approaching, bikini-body goals move out of the forefront of our minds, and financial fitness moves in to take their place. Just as people can commit to a health and fitness plan for their physical bodies, your wallet sometimes needs a trim around the waistline; but, let’s face the music. 

It’s easy to know what is healthy or unhealthy for our bodies. Eat your veggies and minimize your sugar intake. Exercise a little every day, but don’t overdo it. 

It is not so easy to know what’s healthy for our finances. 

Here are some tips to jump-start your journey toward financial fitness this fall. 

1. Examine, or re-examine your goals. 

Many people struggle with commitment to a financial plan, but that is usually for one simple reason. 

Their financial goals were disconnected from their values. 

The best start to a financial fitness plan is to assess what your short-term and long-term goals are; also, you should ask yourself if these goals are aligned well with those things that are most important to you. 

Whether you want to travel the world or send your children or yourself to college without incurring heavy student debt, placing your current spending and saving habits in relation to your values can throw potential discrepancies into the light very effectively. 

2. Schedule regular check-ins.

It is extremely healthy to monitor your accounts on a regular basis. This helps you see your progress, and brings any areas where changes may be necessary into focus. Quarterly check-ins provide the best rhythm and timing to ensure you are on track with your risk tolerance and savings objectives. 

If opening your quarterly statements gives you the willies, that is a definitive sign that something needs to change. Maybe your stock allocation is weightier than you would like it to be. Resist the temptation to just ignore the discomfort.

Take action. 

Consider rebalancing your budget, or talk to a financial advisor to see if your allocations are appropriate for your time horizon, as well as your short- and long-term goals. 

3. Take things one day at a time. 

Financial planning is a lot like training for a marathon. You would never go out and run 26.2 miles on your first day of training. 

You should not expect your balances to grow double, year after year, from the beginning. Financial Fitness Tips

That’s a little to the side of crazy. 

It is important, oh so important, to set short-term goals that are manageable to get you from start to finish in this financial marathon. 

If you have trouble determining what a reasonable level for one of these short-term goals would be, or how these littler goals compare and connect to your larger, long-term goals, try starting with increasing your contributions to your 401(k) by one percentage point every year. Conventional wisdom says that most people should be saving around 10-15 percent of their annual income to save for retirement; but as we know, not everyone is the same, and savings are no different. While “conventional wisdom” says one thing, your needs and goals may need to adjust up or down to best fit your situation. 

4. Reward yourself. 

If you are making all the right decisions with your retirement savings accounts, paying all your monthly bills, and meeting any other financial goals you have put in place – Congratulations!Financial Tips

You deserve to enjoy your leftover money!

Just remember to distinguish between wants and needs. Your spending, just like your savings, should be in alignment with your values and goals. 

5. DISCIPLINE yourself. 

It is the simplest, surest way to being financially fit, but it is also often the hardest. One potential solution would be to work with a financial adviser, who can help you remain accountable and informed about the options and strategies to help you make the most of your hard-earned savings. 

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness may have been a Lie All Along! Oct. 2, 2017

On August 9, 2017, the United States Department of Education filed a legal motion may have huge ramifications for thousands of teachers, social workers, police officers, and other public servants and government officials. This motion asserts that there was never a final decision on whether public service employees would have their student debt forgiven, as many believed. 

The crux of the issue….

Public Service Loan Forgiveness was created 10 years ago. In a blog post last year, the official website of the USDE described the program as a “broad, employment-based forgiveness program for federal student loans.” Any person working for the government or a non-profit organization could have their educational loans erased after 10 full years of on-time payments. 

Have you been doing the math? That means that the first group of borrowers who are eligible for this Forgiveness program would be able to pursue forgiveness for their outstanding loans this fall. 

Now.

So, what’s the situation?

There is a group of lawyers who, along with the American Bar Association, are suing the Department of Education, for allegedly changing the rules on the qualifications for PSLF, for their employers. Because the ABA is not a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and lawyers are not necessarily under the employee of the state or “in the public service,” these lawyers and ABA employees are not currently qualified for forgiveness on their student loan debt under the PSLF.

The Department of Education filed for “summary judgment;” they want the case settled without going to trial. 

The USDE states that it has taken no final action on any of thousands of applicants for PSLF. The department may have accepted their paperwork, the filing states, but those are only “interim, non-binding, individualized determinations.”

In addition, the filing states that this final eligibility determination will only be decided after those 10 full years of payments: “Once a borrower has made 120 qualifying payments, [they] may submit an application for PSLF.” 

NPR has previously reported that many people in the last ten years made binding life decisions based on the promise of student debt forgiveness under the PSLF. Some chose lower-paying jobs in the public sector and then enrolled in payment plans as instructed by the Department of Education. This left their loans to accrue enormous amounts of interest, in the hope that in ten years, their student debt would be wiped out. 

Ten years later, many of these people are facing thousands of dollars in interest debt, on top of their initial loan principals, that they had not planned on. 

Chong Park, a partner at Ropes & Gray law firm, is representing the ABA and the individual plaintiffs in this suit against the USDE. He said in a statement: “The expectations and financial well-being of thousands of dedicated public servants hang in the balance in this case…. In its new filing, the Department of Education unfortunately reiterates that it has no intention of upholding promises made under the very program it created. We find this position unfair and unlawful.”

Regretfully, the Department of Education has made no further comment or disclosure, other than the public statements made in the legal documentation of the case. Whether this will be resolved amicably or not is still to be determined; but for those who placed all their chips on this one hand, they may need to resign themselves to the knowledge that they held the wrong cards for ten years. 

Millennials: More Concerned with GoT than Repaying Student Loans?! Sept. 30, 2017

A few weeks back, HBO’s Game of Thrones finished up its seventh season, to the tune of 12.1 million live viewers, and another 16.5 million viewers watched by other method – online, recorded broadcast, or other viewing options – at some point that same night. 

These are record-breaking numbers; they made this season finale the show’s most-watched final episode yet, according to Forbes. But be warned, Forbes did not shy away from spoilers about the episode in their article. 

How do we know if graduates place other things above repaying their student loans?

Thankfully, there are a number of studies which have been conducted, which shine a light on this very topic. One of the leading organizations that has been putting forth effort on this matter is LendEDU, an online “marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance.” According to their own story, founders Nate Matherson and Matt Lenhard “…created LendEDU [in August 2014] to help student loan borrowers find transparency without damaging their credit. We are student loan borrowers ourselves. Our goal is to help you save money through transparent pricing and education.”

LendEDU has completed surveys among the public recently which have provided pertinent information regarding the way borrowers and student loan debt holders view their worry and need to repay their student loans. The most effective of these was discussed in their blog post near the end of August 2017, and covered a list of 17 “priorities” as compared to repayment of student loan debt. 

Prioritizing student loans, in the grand scheme of things

By asking 500 student loan borrowers who are currently in repayment in an online poll, the following results were garnered. We have listed them with the provided percentages of respondents gathered from the poll.

  • Perform at your job to strengthen your job security VS repay your student loans? (27.2% VS 72.8%)
  • Use your money to buy gifts for partners and loved ones VS use your money to repay student loans? (84% VS 16%)
  • Use your money to find the best possible living situation VS use your money to repay students loans? (56% VS 44%)
  • Saving your money in a retirement or savings fund VS repaying your student loans? (31.8% VS 68.2%)
  • Using your money to buy a car VS using your money to repay student loans? (34% VS 66%)
  • Use your money to buy healthy food that is generally more expensive VS use your money to repay student loans? (27.8% VS 72.2%)
  • Establish your credit history VS repay your student loans? (42.6% VS 57.4%)
  • Invest in the stock market VS repay your student loans? (14.6% VS 85.4%)
  • Pay your credit card, phone, utility, and other bills VS repay your student loans? (74.4% VS 25.6%)
  • Keeping up with Game of Thrones VS repaying your student loans? (11.33% VS 88.67%)
  • Maintaining a good appearing on social media VS repaying your student loans? (8.28% VS 91.72%)
  • Going out to maintain an exciting social life VS repaying student loans? (11% VS 89%)
  • Use your money to travel VS use your money to repay your student loans? (27% VS 73%)
  • More stress about your favorite sports team VS your student loans? (10.44% VS 89.56%)
  • Upgrading your wardrobe VS repaying your student loans? (12.4% VS 87.6%)
  • Keeping your Netflix account active/binge-watching VS repaying your student loans? (17.05% VS 82.95%)
  • More stress about your fantasy football league VS your student loans? (6.3% VS 65.4%)

Now, to break that down a little more:

The tasks that these respondents prioritized as GREATER than the need to repay their student loans included

  • Paying their credit card, phone, utility, and other bills
  • Use their money to find the best possible living situation
  • Use their money to buy gifts for partners and loved ones

The tasks that these respondents prioritized as LESS than the need to repay their student loans, but were relatively close in importance (within 35%) included

  • Establish their credit history
  • Using their money to buy a car

So, all things considered?

These 500 respondents generally seems to place their need to repay their student loans as higher than many trivial, “millennial”-type tasks and needs. Whether it was Netflix or GoT, satisfying the travel-bug or dreaming of the perfect fantasy football team, student loans are more important to many millennials. 

But that does mean that some of the younger generation DO prioritize these trivial matters above their student loans. In the case of keeping an active Netflix account, 17% and change of the 500 respondents considered this more important than repaying their college debt. 

If that number is scary to you, there may be only one thing to do. 

If you, a family member, or friend is in the habit of prioritizing non-necessities over repaying their debt of any kind, some kind of talking-to or intervention may need to happen. A financial planner or loan expert may be helpful in this case. Wise Loan has great information at their disposal to help you determine options you may have to alleviate your student loan debt. Give us a call today!

Back to School and Student Loans! Sept. 28, 2017

Paying for college is more expensive than the actual dollar-figure.

The average annual costs of attending a four-year college for the 2014-2015 school year was $25,409, according to a study completed by the National Center for Education Statistics. For many families, that is a cost roughly equivalent to the price of a brand-new car, with a good warranty. 

For many of these same families, this makes college an unachievable aspiration without taking out student loans. 

While student loans can be a great deal for many families and students, they are not all created equal. For students, and their families, who are using these loan options to pay for their tuition and other expenses, it is important to find a trustworthy and reputable lender. They must also ensure they understand the repayment obligations of the loans they contract into. 

The sad part is, there are facts you may not know about the current student loan market, and the way student loans work. Whether it is simple oversight on the part of the loan services and providers, or intentional failure to mention, is up for debate. Nevertheless, here’s some good information to keep in mind when you are considering a student loan to cover your educational expenses.

It is a lot of debt to haul around. 

In June of 2010, student loan debt alone surpassed national levels of credit card debt; this is according to an article by Deanna Templeton written for Yahoo Finance. In her article, she states that “Since then, outstanding student loan debt has surpassed the $1 trillion mark – making it the single-largest form of household consumer debt outside of home loans.” 

Translated to normal terms: your student loan debt can cost more than your mortgage by the time it’s all said and done. 

That’s a virtual ton of debt. What happens if it becomes too much for you or your family?

Bankruptcy is NOT a viable option. 

Current laws prohibit federal and private student loans from being discharged in bankruptcy. The only way to legally get bankruptcy relief for their defaulted and outstanding student loans is for you, the borrower, to prove undue hardship. However good that may sound, the requirements that must be met to qualify for that caveat are extremely strict. In fact, meeting these requirements for undue hardship is nearly impossible for many people who have tried.

Therefore, just resign yourself to the fact that your student loans have to be repaid. 

No ifs, ands, or buts about it. 

Some teachers and licensed educational personnel can earn relief on their student loans. 

Elementary-school and high-school teachers can qualify for a break on their student loan debt if they teach five consecutive academic years in geographic areas that serve low-income families. There are other qualifications, but this program is a viable option for many educators. According to the United States Department of Education, “You may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and your subsidized and unsubsidized federal Stafford loans.” 

Another option is that if a teacher has loans from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, he or she might be eligible to have their loan cancelled in return for teaching full-time, at a low-income school or in certain underserved subject areas. 

Required counseling may not really be effective. 

Every student who takes out any federal student loan is required to complete “counseling sessions” before borrowing any money. They must also complete a counseling session when they finish their degrees. Most colleges use online modules provided directly from the Department of Education. Unfortunately, these modules have been rather bulky and ineffective thus far, according to Ron Lieber in an article in the New York Times

“The modules are filled with phrases like this one: ‘Graduation before exceeding your maximum eligibility period protects direct subsidized loans received from interest subsidy loss.’…. The financial aid system is more complicated than it ought to be, and even adults have trouble making sense of it. How on earth can we expect a bunch of teenagers to sort it out?”

You may be able to change your payment plan.

Standard student loan repayment plans are usually based on a 10-year repayment term. 

However, some graduates may not be making much money, or may be unable to find work in their chosen field soon enough after graduation to begin making their payments on time. For those individuals, their payments may be more than they can afford for a long time after graduation. 

In cases like this, the education department’s advice is to apply as soon as possible for an “income-driven repayment plan”. 

“Your monthly payments will likely be lower than they would on the standard plan – in fact, they could be as low as $0 per month – but you’ll likely be paying more and for a longer period of time.”

You will be required to provide income documentation to your loan servicer each year; based on that information, your loan payment amount will be recalculated to reflect your current income. 

So, where do we go from here?

So far, Congress has not chosen to take action on the elevated costs of a college education, or the problems associated with student debt. That means the current situation is unlikely to change soon, if at all, and students must continue to try to find ways to pay the costs of their education. In many cases, they and their parents must pursue student loans. One way to do right by your wallet and your education is to work with a lender you can trust is one way to make sure your student debt experience is manageable for your life after graduation. 

When applying for personal loan things do get personal! Aug. 25, 2017

In life, many people encounter the need for a significant sum of money, and this need is often unexpected and unforeseen. Whether it’s a wedding, adopting a child, consolidating debt, or heavy medical bills. We try to save up for these things, but sometimes, things just don’t work out, and we come up short. Personal loans may offer an option to bridge the gap between need and reality. It is always better to be prepared, so here is some information you may want to know if a personal loan may be an option in your future. 

The credit check will happen.

when applying for personal loan things do get personal

Many applications for loans or other credit-based funding options will always involve a credit check. Lenders will want to confirm that you have a history of paying up your debts on time, and be confident that you have the income to fully repay what you owe in a timely fashion. While every lender is different on the range of credit scores they generally approve one rule of thumb is that a lower score will almost always receive a higher interest rate in comparison to someone with a higher credit score. So, if your credit score leaves a lot to be desired, working toward bringing that number up will go a long way toward your future credit and loan approvals. 

Some lenders will look at more than your basic credit report. 

While traditional banks may not look far beyond your credit history and basic financial numbers like income and expenses, independent lenders may choose to focus a little more on your savings, life insurance, and other personal financial factors. These indicators may show fiscal responsibility, in a way that a simple credit report will not. 

Lenders need to know you will endeavor to make steady payments. 

If you miss a payment or due date on a personal loan, your credit profile will definitely suffer. This can reduce your ability to gain credit or get approved for loans in the future. Many debt refinance loans have terms between 36 to 60 months with strict payment schedules. Before applying, make sure you can make your payment, every month, even if something untoward happens. 

Personal loans do not have to directly put your home at risk.

However, if you are considering applying for a personal loan, you may also consider a home equity loan. Keep in mind that home equity loans borrow money against the value of your home. If you cannot fulfill the terms of your home equity loan, your lender can take action against your home. 

Use your personal loan to get out of debt, and focus of avoiding more debt.

Make sure you are working in a budget and avoid incurring additional debt when you take out a personal loan. If you are making payments on a personal loan, you are also still racking up debt on a credit card, your problem will only grow. Focus on your budget, and be certain how much you can actually afford to pay before you apply. If the monthly amounts and payment schedule work for you, then a personal loan may be a great option for you, for any number of reasons. For consolidating debt from credit cards or student loans, a personal loan is often a best bet for most people. 

Misled about refund anticipation loan terms! Aug. 25, 2017

In recent years, tax refund anticipation loans have become common place.

In recent years, tax refund anticipation loans have become common place.

 Borrowers are essentially able to have a tax professional calculate their anticipated refund amount, if any, and for a fee, can issue a cash advance to the borrower. This can allow a person or family to receive their refund earlier than anyone else, and also ensures that their taxes for the coming season are completed, more or less, on time. 

This usually works out well for everyone involved. The tax professional or company can get a jump on tax-season business, and earn a loyal customer base at the same time. 

But for one New Mexico family, their plans for enjoying the holiday season of 2016 with a refund-anticipation loan ended up causing headache, heartache, and a pain in the wallet. 

The DeJolie family received a tax refund anticipation loan in November of 2017, which enabled them to travel and have food for the holidays. They are now suing the tax service company, who issued their loan, for not listing an accurate annual percentage rate and additional charges for the tax preparation services in the paperwork for the loan. The DeJolie family say that the APR listed in their loan paperwork was supposed to be 264%, which is not uncommon in these types of loans. The problem is that hidden charges and other fees buried in the fine print brought the “true” APR up to a whopping 385%, which is, to be blunt, insane. 

To pour salt in the wound, the DeJolie family also states in their claim that they were charged $157.05 for the tax preparation portion of the loan, but the invoice they received at the signing was only for $145 even. They state that they also received a charge for $9.75, for a credit check.

This lawsuit is still pending, but it does bring to light a situation that many people may encounter, as these types of loans become more popular.

How can a normal person protect himself from hidden fees and charges they did not agree to in a loan contract?

This problem can be avoided by one simple task. Read the loan paperwork thoroughly and understand it thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. 

May I repeat?

Read the loan paperwork thoroughly and understand it thoroughly before putting pen to paper and signing the thing!

Loan Papers

If that means taking the paperwork home with you, and reading it over multiple times, then do so. Get the lender to promise the loan will still be waiting for you within a certain time frame, and then do your due diligence to make sure you are entirely informed before you sign. By so doing, you ensure you are protecting your rights, and knowing in detail what you are getting yourself into. 

There is no excuse for not reading the fine print. 

A lender legally cannot force you to sign a contract for a loan, and you need to know your rights before you get pressured into a loan you can’t afford. If the lender will not allow you to take the paperwork home to thoroughly peruse on your own time, or tells you the loan is only valid if you sign before you leave, then take your business elsewhere. If they were being honest in the paperwork, what would they have to rush you for?

That’s right. There is no reason for them to rush you. 

Don’t let them convince you your rights don’t matter. Take your time, or pay the fine. It’s your money and peace of mind; protect them both. 

Making sure loan gets approved! Aug. 25, 2017

Getting approved for a loan, no matter the purpose, is usually a pretty straightforward process. While modern banks may be looking for a lot more in applicants than they used to, there are generally some things that applicants can do to make their chances of securing their funding less stressful and more streamlined. The first things to determine are what type of loan you need, and where you are going to borrow from.

Types of loans

Making sure loan gets approved

There are a variety of loan and funding options available to many borrowers, including mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, and payday loans. Many of these options require some form of collateral. For a mortgage, it is usually the house. For a car title loan or other automotive loan, the car is collateral. These secured types of loans may be more available to applicants with credit that is less than stellar, because even if you end up defaulting or running into other trouble trying to pay off your loan, the bank or financier will still be guaranteed some kind of payoff from your collateral. This may not end up so good for you, if that happens, which is why it is always best to make a decision on the type of loan you will pursue based on what you know you can afford, in the worst case scenario. 

Where to borrow

It is always smart to shop around when you are seeking a loan, though there may be limitations or parameters, based on the type of loan you determine you need. Start your search by focusing on banks and credit unions in your community, that people you know well speak well of, and who are known for making deals on affordable loans. Check with several of the institutions in your area, and compare costs and interest rates once you have visited them all. You should already have an idea of the terms you can afford, and your strategy for paying off your loan, so that you can make the best decision for yourself, your family, and your wallet.

Credit score

You should always keep an eye on your credit score and credit report, and you should have started checking in on it long before you need a loan. If you need to get on that, may this blogger highly recommend CreditKarma? It is free, and they even offer tax-prep services and many other services for people with less-than-perfect credit who need help rebuilding their credit to a reasonable level. 

Credit scores range from 300 to 850. There are many factors which tally into your credit score, and some of these include:

  • Number of open accounts
  • Number of closed/defaulted/collections accounts
  • Total amount of debt
  • Types of debt (car loans, mortgage, student loans, credit cards, shopping club accounts, etc.)

Before even applying for a loan, you should do everything in your power to push your credit score to the best level possible. When lenders look at applications, they generally read a score of 640 as fair, 700 as good, and 760 and above as excellent. People with a score of 760 and higher will generally be able to walk into a bank or other financial institution, sign on the dotted line, and walk away with cash. People with a score of less than 640 will be disappointed very often, until they can bring their score up. Do not let that discourage you, if you fall into that group of people with less-than-great credit. There are methods and steps you can take to raise your score again; once more, let me recommend CreditKarma…..

IncomeIncome


The other major factor a bank or lender will inspect when reviewing an application for a loan is your income. If it is seen as a stable source of income, and you have a stable history of earning income, then your chances of being approved shoot higher. Interest rates may be lowered, and a few bumps on your credit report may be overlooked, if your income is currently stable and you have a history of stable income. 

Debt-to-income ratio

Another aspect of the loan application process is the calculation of the debt to income ratio. What this basically means is the bank or lender will look at your total monthly debt and your gross monthly income, and determine if, on paper, you can afford the terms of the loan you are seeking. This is by no means the only factor for approval or disapproval on a loan request, but it is quite a hefty influencer in the process. It is always best to have a ballpark figure in your own mind, so the bank cannot really surprise you. 

More tips

Ask for as little money as possible. Total debt owed makes up 30% of your total credit score, so always taking as little as necessary to make it happen is going to benefit you in the long run.

Outline the reason you need the loan. Especially if you are seeking an unsecured personal loan, with no collateral, the bank or lender will want to know how you plan to use the money. If your cause is good and necessary, explain how and why. Be honest. 

Slow down on the applications if you keep getting denied. It can actually affect your credit score if you keep applying for loans, and getting denied, in too short a time frame. A good rule of thumb is to apply for loans not more than once per quarter, and not even that many times if you can avoid it. Also, avoiding peak application seasons is key. Everybody wants a loan at Christmastime, to buy presents for their family and friends, but this means your chances of approval are slimmed down, due to sheer volume of applicants. Avoid that hassle, and plan ahead instead. 

We here at Wise Loan hope this helped! Knowledge is power, so stay tuned for more posts with great information in the next few weeks!

Fake paperwork for student loan collections! Aug. 25, 2017

It has slipped past many viewers’ radars in the last few weeks, but there’s a bit of a scandal going down in Missouri. 

fake paperwork for student loan collections

The case concerns the claims purported by a company, called National Collegiate Student Loan Trust. This company states that former students have not paid back their college loans, and the Trust subsequently purchased the accounts from the original lenders, an assortment of banks. 

However, Independence Attorney Ken McClain says that the Trust does not have proper documentation, which would prove that the former students owed the debt to the banks. McClain also says that the Trust does not possess the documentation that legally proves they purchased the defaulted accounts from the banks, and therefore cannot legally collect on the defaulted loans, no matter what. 

For many former students in Missouri facing financial trouble and inability to repay their loans, this scandal could not have happened at a better time. McClain claims that this company, the Trust, was not playing by the rules in order to recover these disputed debts, and this is turning out in favor of the struggling former students. 

If anything, these students would owe the money to the original lenders and banks, but without the missing documentations and paperwork, the buck seems to be stopping on the courthouse steps. 

McClain also referred to the recent troubles with subprime mortgage loans. There were cases a few years back, where judges ruled in many instances that the loans in question were uncollectable due to missing, or in some cases faked, documentation. He said this seems to be a similar situation, but former students facing lawsuits from this Trust should seek the advice of an attorney to determine their options. 

This brings to light a scary situation for many former college students in many other states. If it is so easy for a potentially-illegitimate company to fake paperwork and claim that you owe a debt to them, how can you protect yourself?

The answer is actually rather simple. 

Know what you’ve borrowed, and the terms of repayment.Know what you have borrowed

If you went to college, you more than likely had to take out some kind of student loan to be able to afford your classes, books, and other expenses. When you received the documentation for that loan, it would have detailed the terms of repayment, as well as the lender. This lender may have kept contact with you after you graduated or otherwise left college, or not. In either case, you probably had some kind of a grace period after you were no longer taking classes, and after that period, you should have begun making payments on your loans. 

In general, if you do not have that paperwork any longer, there may still be ways in which you can track down information on your loans. One way may be to check your credit report. The loans, and the reporting company, will often be listed directly on your report, and a few Google searches later may get you the information you need, about who to contact. Another option may be to contact your former school. They might still have the paperwork in your file, and might be willing to release that information to you so that you can pursue making good on your debts. 

However you go about it, know what you owe, and to who you owe it, and no one will be able to take advantage of you by claiming you owe something to them. knowledge, in this case, is power. 

 

Fun Things to do for Free this Summer! May 31, 2017

Fun things to do in Summer

Summer is right around the corner and Wise Loan understands that spending money is an easy thing to do when the sun is out. There are lots of fun things to do but some of which cost some money. So here are a few examples of some fun activities to do in the summer that are for free!

1: Going to the beach

There are some beaches that cost $0.00 to attend for the day. Check out some local swimming spots at your lake, river, or the ocean. You should not have to spend money to go swimming because who would want to do that. You may know someone who has a pool and you may be able to go over there during a hot summer day.

2: Take advantage of hiking a mountain

There are so many mountains that are fun to hike. If you are blessed to be surrounded by a couple mountains, then you should take advantage of the area you live in and hike some mountains this summer. You can admire a wonderful view and get some exercise while getting some fresh air. Nothing is better than the feeling of hiking a mountain.

3: Check out some local musicians

There is always a free music festival that plays during the summer. Whether it is a blues music festival, country or rock. Some artists are really talented and there is nothing like supporting your local artists. They are fun and you can make some amazing memories and friends at a music festival.

4: Tour a brewery

You can take a tour of your local brewery’s and try some great beer. Nothing is cooler than getting to see how beer is made and the different ingredients that goes into making a great hand crafted beer. You can go with just one person or multiple people.

5: Camp in the back yard

Nothing is better than camping during the summer time. Especially when it is in your back yard because you can have a fire and roast some marshmallows with some music playing. Or you can simply star gaze in the comfort of your backyard. It is another great way to ease your mind.

These are just a few summer activities you can do while being on budget for the summer. No one likes to spend a ton of money doing something fun, rather they spend little to no money doing things that are just as fun. We hope this blog has created some ideas for the summer fun list and Wise Loan hopes that you keep saving that money!

Random Ways to Make Extra Money! May 15, 2017


Ways to Make Extra MoneyEver wanted to know if you could make some extra money while trying to save? Or ever wondered if you could pay off debt with some extra income you can earn? Well the answers to both of those questions is yes. Yes, you can make some extra money while saving and paying off debt with some extra cash you can start making.

1: Return bottles and cans.

If you live in specific states that pay for bottle returns, you can return bottles and cans to your local redemption center. It is a simple way to earn a little extra cash and if you go throw a lot of bottles and cans in a month then it will easily add up. It will add up quickly too, without you even realizing it.

Here are states with container deposit laws that pay between 5 – 10 cents per container…

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont.

2: Return change.

You can return your change once your change jar is full. Most change jars fill up within a month or so, depending on how much you use cash for purchases. Some say that if you mind your pennies then things will start to add up and that saying seems to be true every time. Because if you do start to mind your pennies then you will start to see some extra cash come into your pocket. It doesn’t mean you have to be stingy but you can always think twice before thinking you really need something.

3: Take some online surveys. 

There are some online surveys you can take that will actually pay you. Feedback is important and who knows, if you take 10 surveys in a day then you could earn up to $35 per survey with some websites.

4: Uber or Lyft driver.

You can become an Uber or Lyft driver on days where you want to earn a few extra dollars for driving people around town. On some days there can be a surcharge fee so you will earn even more money for driving people to and from their destinations.

5: Test websites and mobile apps. 

People are constantly creating websites and mobile apps that are great but need to be tested in order to see if they work properly. People do not want to launch a website or an app without it working properly because then the public will be upset when they do not work. It is always important to give others feedback as well so things will be made properly.


These are just a few ways you can earn some extra money. It is always important to keep income coming in so that way you can simply save or you can pay back Wise Loan quicker than you normally would and it wouldn’t get you stressed or on a budget. It is always that simple! Keep up the saving and hard work, money is always very important!

The Difference Between A Wise Loan and A Payday Loan! April 15, 2017

What is a Payday Loan?BigStock-Payday-Loans

A payday loan, which is often referred to as a payday advance, cash advance loan, or a salary loan is a short-term, small amount loan that a borrower would repay at his or her next payday. Often payday loan lenders have access to the borrowers checking account so they can electronically deposit the money as well as automatically withdraw the funds for the repayment.

There are many reasons someone might need to take out a payday loan. Often it’s used to cover normal living expenses or maybe get out of a rough spot or emergency situation when they don’t have the funds readily available. Taking out a payday loan isn’t something people should do often. It’s best to use a payday loan for emergency situations only. These loans can be a reasonable solution to your financial needs since they can be cheaper than not paying your bills or having an overdraft fee on your checking account.

The Dark Side To Payday Loans

While payday loans can offer relief in a time of need, there can be a potential dark side to them. According to Credit.com, “Many people get into trouble with these types of loans when they are unable to quickly repay the debt. If you can’t repay the loan at the end of the term, you’ll be charged expensive additional fees. It is very costly to be stuck in a payday loan cycle for a long time and can lead to larger financial problems.” Always use loans responsibly and pay them back on time to prevent any fees or consequences.

How Wise Loan is Different

Although a Wise Loan is similar to a payday loan in that it helps people get through a tough financial situation even if they have a bad or limited credit history, Wise Loan provides many additional features that make it a smarter option. Wise Loan offers loans between $200-$1500 and allows the borrower to choose how many payments they wish to make before the loan is repaid (between 2 – 12). Plus Wise Loan is the only lender to give cash bonuses for timely loan payoffs! The funds are deposited to a special “Nest Egg” account that you can borrow from instead of taking out a payday loan next time! Learn more about Wise Loan and apply online at www.wiseloan.com. Get Wise Today!

Ideas For Your Tax Refund! April 14, 2017

Ideas For Your Tax Refund

Top 8 smart ideas on what to do with your Tax Refund this year.


It’s about that time of year where tax refund checks are either coming in the mail or getting directly deposited into bank accounts. It’s always hard knowing what to do with your money, it could burn a hole in your pocket or it could just sit in the back corner waiting to go unnoticed. Did your refund check seem to burn a hole in your pocket last year, and you seem to not have anything to show for it? Well, if that is the case then you should consider a few of these tips for your refund check.

Tip #1- Put it in an emergency fund.

You should consider building an emergency fund because you never know when you might need some extra cash. Crazy things happen every day and you may need that money to pay one of your bills because you were short on cash that month. Or maybe your car needs a new windshield because a rock flew from a dump truck and cracked it. No matter what the case is, it is always smart to have an emergency fund.

Tip #2- Pay off debt.Pay off debt

It is always good to pay down debt because it’s never a good thing to accumulate debt. If it is credit card debt, then it is smart to pay that off so you are not paying for interest. Interest is one of those things that always seems to build up and is the worst part about paying back money you borrowed. Also paying off your debt can leave you stress-free and give you the energy you need to focus on different things.

Tip #3- Send it to the retirement account.

Retirement is one of those things that everybody wants, but not everybody is going to be able to afford. Today’s economy makes it seem like not many people will be able to have a retirement. With that being said, that’s a lot of years of working ahead of us. If you start saving now for retirement, then it will really adds up later for you. Every penny counts, and retirement is really nice after working for the past 60 plus years. You always want to look out for your future.

Tip #4- College funds.

If you have a child, then it is important that he/she has a college fund because college is not cheap and it will help them out when they need ten $400 books and barely have enough money to keep food in their stomachs. The more they have saved up then the more likely they will go to the school they desperately want to go to and it will help them out tremendously. Also, it gives your child a reason to want to excel with their knowledge and it will hopefully help them be successful.

Tip #5- Pay ahead on your mortgage.

This tip goes hand-in-hand with tip #2. Mortgage is a form of debt and even if you pay ahead on it a couple of times, then it will really help when it comes to the bank. Plus you will pay off your mortgage quicker and it only helps you out in the long run. It looks better to your bank as well and you will not spend 70 years paying off a $200,000 house.

Tip #6- Plan a vacation.

Go on that vacation to the Bahama’s if you would like. Nothing is wrong with seeing the world and realizing that there is much more to life than working everyday and paying bills. Not to mention vacations are good for the soul. Vacations give you time to relax and venture away from reality for a little bit. It is also good for your mental health to reward the hard work you have done and to get away from the same old.

Tip #7- Renovate your house.

If you are someone who likes to take time off but not leave your house, then renovate it a little bit. Spend the money on making that patio you really want or buy all the flowers to make that beautiful garden you envision out front to welcome your future guests. Nothing is wrong with investing in the place you live. It only makes you feel better and your home look appealing. Plus if you replace windows or upgrade to energy efficient appliances, then it will cut down on some of your bills so you end up paying less in the long run.

Tip #8- Donate it.

Last but not least, donate your money to a charity where someone will benefit from it. You can always use it as a tax deduction too. It may not seem like the best thing to do but it can make your community better and it will make you feel better knowing that you made a difference in someone else’s life.

These are just a few tips on what to with your tax refund. It is definitely smart to do something with your money rather than just spending it on not very useful things like clothes, dining out, or little things here and there. This article is designed to give you a better understanding about what to do with your refund check. Regardless of what you do with your refund check, we hope that this article has helped Money matters for the future!

Have you been Pwned?! March 26, 2017

What is Pwned? 

You are probably wondering what it means to be ‘pwned’. It’s a slang reference to ‘being owned’. The word pwned refers to having your sensitive, protected, or confidential data vieHave you been Pwned?wed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so generally through hacking. Data breaches may involve personal health information, or personally identifiable information, trade secrets or intellectual property.

We’ve all heard of the huge data breaches on Yahoo, myspace, linked in, adobe, dropbox, tumblr, and more. What you may not be aware of is that once information like passwords are stolen, they are often sold to others on the ‘dark web’ and used not only to break into the accounts they were stolen from but to your other accounts as well because often people use the same usernames and passwords for multiple websites.

The Dark Web, how to mitigate the risk of being pwned

The dark web is a place on the internet where you need special kind of programs to access it, it’s anonymous and there are a lot of illegal online activities that go on there. The common person cannot access the dark web, only someone with the right knowledge and equipment can get on.

It is so important to know if any websites you have used have been hacked. You can check to see if you have been pwned at haveibeenpwned.com. When you go there, you just enter in your email and it will tell you if you have been pwned or not and what websites that your email is linked to that have had a data breach.

To avoid being ‘pwned’, make sure you always use a different password for every online account you have. It can be annoying but it is important if you do not want your accounts to be hacked and exploited. To make it easier, you can use a password management system like LastPass. Then you only have to remember 1 password!

Can I get approved for an installment loan with bad credit! Jan. 14, 2017

Approval for an installment loan with bad credit

Approval for an installment loan with bad credit

If you are in need of a loan and you have bad credit, it may seem like you don’t have a lot of options. You may have applied for a loan in a traditional bank and been turned down due to your credit score. Most financial institutions do require a good credit score to take out a loan and you may be wondering “Can I get approved for an installment loan with bad credit?”


Can you get Approved?  

The short answer is YES. Although most financial institutions want you to have a great credit score, some institutions like Wise Loan take other factors into consideration. Wise Loan does assess an applicants ability to pay back their loan in the application process but they do not solely look at credit score and often approve loans for applicants with lower credit scores.

Wise Loan also reports an applicants on-time payments to all of the credit bureaus. This means that after your loan is paid off, it will help improve the borrowers credit score or help the borrower establish a credit score if they simply don’t have enough credit to have a score.

Having bad credit can make it difficult to take out a loan but it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t qualify. Go to Wiseloan.com for more information.

Saving Money in the New Year! Jan. 2, 2017

How to Save Money in the New Year

How to Save Money in the New Year

If 2016 didn’t go that well for you financially, now is the time to make a fresh start for 2017. Making a New Year resolution list is extremely helpful, especially if you want to save and be more responsible with your money. Here are a few ideas and tips that will hopefully help you save money for the New Year!

1: Buy a calendar and keep updated

Buy a calendar to keep yourself organized. List out your bills; write down your weekly income and expenses so you can visualize your money spending habits. For instance writing down when each bill is due and putting a little money towards it each week really helps to be on time and not stressed trying to get everything paid.

2: Pennies matter

Save your change in a large jar and watch it add up through out the year. Believe it or not change actually adds up quickly when you just keep throwing more into it. Also if you have just an extra five dollars in your wallet each week and you put it in your change jar, it will add up quick and you can deposit it into your bank account after a full years end.

3: Only Spend on Essentials

Try to only buy things you need. End the shopping spree habits and only buy the essentials. Ordering take out can be expensive so why spend money on it when you can cook a better, healthier meal by yourself? Even buying yourself a shirt each week adds up, so watch your spending habits and you can find yourself saving money in no time.

4: Quit the expensive habits

Unhealthy habits like smoking are expensive and with the New Year coming up, now may be the best time to try to quit. Quitting smoking can leave you with half a grand each month depending on how often you smoke.

5: Keep track

Keeping track of how much you make each week and dividing your pay check into separate groups like bills, groceries, and miscellaneous can really help you out in the long run. It may not seem like it but it really helps at first but over time in can make a tremendous difference.

These are just a few helpful tips that we have found to work for many people. Leave all those old, pesky habits in 2016 and try something new to help you keep from struggling through out 2017! Happy New Year from Wise Loan!

Saving Money During the Holidays! Nov. 17, 2016

How to Save Money During the Holidays

How to Save Money During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again! Halloween is over and its time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays can be very expensive especially if you have a big family to feed and buy gifts for. If you are looking to save some money this holiday season, here are some tips…

A good way to save money for Thanksgiving is to get a accurate count of how many people will be attending your celebration and buy the right amount of food for your guests. You can also buy a turkey when it’s on sale at the grocery store and store it in a freezer if you have one.

Use Coupons

Using coupons is another good way to save money. Being an extreme coupon user can pay off if you have the time for it because you could potentially receive money back for the things you buy.

You may be better off buying your Christmas or Hanukkah gifts throughout the year instead of all at once right before the holidays. When you are doing your holiday shopping, make lists and check things off as you go through it because then you will be organized and prepared.

As hard as it can be, don’t give in to those guilty feelings that cause you to over spend. Remember that the holidays are more about spending time with friends and family and less about presents.

Trying to save money through out the holidays can seem impossible but it can be done.

Hopefully this article helps you save a little bit of money this holiday year!

Can Taking Out A Wise Loan Build Your Credit?! Nov. 5, 2016

How to build a credit credit by taking out a loan?

How to build a credit credit by taking out a loan?

A bad credit score or no credit can effect your ability to do the things you need to do in life, like buy a car. If you need to build your credit you may actually want to take out a small loan such as a Wise Loan. There are many types of loans that you can apply for, but a short term loan like a Wise Loan can be paid back quickly and impact your credit right away, plus Wise Loan doesn’t require good credit for applicants. Loans build your credit because paying back a loan can show that you are responsible and trustworthy. It also will show future lenders that you can budget and make good choices with with your money. Once your loan is paid in full Wise Loan will report your good payment history to all the credit bureaus.

Interest Rate

Interest rates vary depending on the size of the loan and the term. If you have no credit and are looking to build your credit then a short term loan can work well. Just be sure you understand exactly what you are expected to pay back and when. Failure to pay back your loan can result in a lower credit score which is not what you want! The worst thing to do is get yourself into debt just to build your credit.

For more information on whether a Wise Loan is right for you, look at our FAQ…

https://www.wiseloan.com/installment_loans_faq

Wise Loan is Now in Mississippi! Nov. 2, 2016

Wise Loan is Now in Mississippi

Wise Loan is Now in Mississippi

Wise Loan is happy to announce that we have expanded our financial services to Mississippi!

If you are a resident of Mississippi and are in the market for an online installment loan, you are in luck. Wise loan is now available in Mississippi! Wise Loan is the only loan that pays you back for borrowing in the form of a “Nest Egg” account. This is an account that you can borrow from later when you have unexpected bills or expenses. That means you may not need a loan next time.

How to Apply Loan?

Applying for a Wise Loan is simple, easy and it only takes about 5 minutes to complete our online application. Once approved, you may be able to receive your money as soon as today!

The best part is that you don’t necessarily need to have good credit to be approved for a Wise Loan!  Amounts as well as loan approvals are determined on a number of factors including your credit but also your employment, loan repayment history, as well as other factors.

Find out more about Wise Loan’s Mississippi Online Installment Loans today!

Preventing Bank Fees! Aug. 31, 2016

How to prevent bank fees?

How to prevent Bank Fees

Do you ever find yourself looking over your bank statement each month and realizing some of your hard earned money was spent on bank fees?

Bank fees are annoying but pretty easy to prevent. One way bank fees occur when you over draft your bank account. It is important to use a bank account that offers overdraft protection, especially if you are often finding yourself over drafting your account. Another helpful thing to do is keep a log of your expenses and your income. Usually a visual of what you are spending your money on and what your income is will help you to save money, thus preventing a bank fee for having less than you are supposed to in your bank account. Technology today makes it much easier to spend more money than you have because of the banking apps that are downloaded to phones. The apps allowing you to transfer money between savings and checking accounts; it makes it easier to spend all of your savings money, which leaves you in a huge financial crisis leaving you with no money. So to prevent those pesky bank fees, keep more than $50 in your savings account so you have a little more than needed to keep it open and don’t use your debit card when you have a low balance in your checking account. Also if you have an automatic withdrawal from your account for a bill then make sure you have enough money for that bill so there is enough time for a check to go through so you don’t get hit with an over draft fee.

Every bank has their own rules for what constitutes a bank fee. Many banks charge for having less than a certain amount in your account, the number of debit transactions, etc. If you aren’t sure what your banks rules are, it’s a good idea to go into your branch and find out.

The Dangers of Debt Consolidation! Aug. 9, 2016

What do you need to know about Debt consolidation

What do you need to know about Debt consolidation

Debt consolidation may seem like a great idea if you are in a tremendous amount of debt because they do help you manage your debt as well as your money too. They also sound so appealing because your monthly credit card bill is lower because the term is extended. What most people don’t realize though is that you end up paying way more in interest rates. There are some dangers to using debt consolidation. Some dangers include getting into even more debt because they keep track of all your debt and money. Not to mention you always have to pay them a good chunk of money for their services. There is many different ways to manage your debt on your own so you do not have to use a debt consolidation program. As long as you change your spending habits and start keeping track of your money instead of spending it all on non-essential items then you should start to see a difference. Also if you are in a lot of debt then you should always pay all of your credit card bills and then throw any extra money you may have at one bill until its paid off and then keep doing that to each bill until everything is all paid off. Its always easier said then done but a debt consolidation program can’t do anything that the average person can do. That is why debt consolidation is a bad idea to get into.

Our New Video!! Aug. 9, 2016


Check out our video for new applicants! Wise Loan makes getting an online installment loan a quick and easy process for new customers, as well as, returning customers. Once you pay your first loan repayment, we report your payment to major credit bureaus to help build your credit. Wise Loan has a great savings program called Nest Egg. Your Nest Egg account will earn you cash back for every dollar you repay on time. Wise Loan deposits money directly into your Nest Egg account where you can save it and watch it grow. You can access your money in your Nest Egg account anytime or use it towards another loan in the future. Contact Wise Loan for more information about our installment loans.

Google’s Ban on PayDay Loans! July 8, 2016

On May 11, 2016, Google announced its plan to ban “payday loans” from advertising on Adwords, its pay-per-click (PPC) platform:

Google’s Ban on PayDay Loans

“Today we’re sharing an update that will go into effect on July 13, 2016: we’re banning ads for payday loans and some related products from our ads systems. We will no longer allow ads for loans where repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue.

In the U.S., we are also banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher. When reviewing our policies, research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users so we will be updating our policies globally to reflect that.”

Many in the short-term online lending industry were surprised by the announcement, which seems to be in lock-step with the current administration’s Operation Choke Point, an initiative launched in 2013 by the United States Department of Justice, whose stated intent was to “attack Internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking fraudsters’ access to the banking system.”  Critics of the program say it was used to put the financial squeeze on entire industries such as firearms sellers and payday lenders.

20 April, 2016: Google sign on the wall of the Google office building.

So what’s the problem?

After all, there are many payday loan companies out there with bad reputations, and for good reasons:  exorbitant interest upwards of 700% APR, hidden fees, confusing terms, poor customer service, misleading advertising, and overly aggressive collections practices, are a few examples of the kinds of bad behavior Operation Chokepoint is trying to eliminate.  But the (perhaps) unintended consequence is that the ever-increasing regulations make it more and more difficult for newer lenders, including those like Wise Loan, who have a different point of view on the right way to lend, to offer its services.

The fact is, higher interest loans exist for a reason.  In a recent study by the CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development, http://assetsandopportunity.org/assets/pdf/2015_Scorecard_Report.pdf), it’s estimated that around 56% of Americans have subprime credit scores, which means that when the average American walks into a bank looking for a loan, more than half of them won’t get it.  Having lower than average credit doesn’t stop the average American from needing cash from time to time, such as for emergency short-term needs like having a car repaired, hospital bills, or other unforeseen needs.

So companies like Wise Loan and other responsible lenders have stepped in to fill these needs.  These lenders, including Wise Loan, charge more than 36%, sometimes way more, because, quite simply, the risk associated with providing loans to this population of Americans is way higher.  According to the Washington Post, when the not-for-profit organization Goodwill Industries tried several lending experiments, operating from its own storefronts, it had to charge a 252% APR just to break even.  And as even the Federal Reserve has pointed out, “Except for the ten to twelve million people who use them every year, just about everybody hates payday loans.”

So, does Google really think payday loans and other high interest loans are a bad idea? 

Maybe.

Except that it still allows PPC advertising for other harmful industries, like online gambling.

Except that Google invested directly in Lending Club, and Google Ventures invested in LendUp, both leading online lenders.

Except that the most lasting and obvious result of the ban is that it will advance the market for established lenders because it makes the barrier to entry for new companies extremely high by removing the ability to buy advertising, and increasing reliance on Search Engine Optimization to attract new customers, which gives these more recognizable lenders an indisputable hand up.

The result

Whatever Google’s actual intentions, the ban isn’t going to stop high interest lending, but established companies may benefit from an increased market share. And it isn’t going to put the bad players out of business, but it might make it harder for consumers to find them.

Here at Wise Loan, we will simply to keep doing what we do best: provide loans in a friendly and efficient way that provides our customers with the funds they need in a way that they can afford, reward good repayment history with lower rates over time, report positive payment history, give our customers cashback in the form of our NestEgg savings program for every dollar repaid on time, develop customer tools for financial education and literacy, and continue to seek out new technology to improve our offering and lower costs over time.

What To Do if Your Loan Gets Declined?! June 16, 2016

Tips on how to get approved for a loanTips on how to get approved for a loan


Applying for a loan can be the cause of a lot of anxiety because if you are declined for the amount you have requested could mean that you don’t get that new car or other item you’ve been eyeing. In the case of an emergency, it could even mean you over draw on your account. That being said, that shouldn’t hold you back from applying for the loan. Here are some tips that you should follow if you happen to get denied for the loan amount that you have requested.

Review the notice if declined

When you get declined for a loan amount, an adverse action notice will come in the mail. You should review it and on that notice there will be the reason why you have gotten declined as well as contact information for any reporting agencies. You should reflect on why you were declined. You may have been declined because your credit score was too low and if that is the case then you should request a credit report. Credit reports will list out all payment history and if you have made a lot of payments that weren’t on time. By reflecting on your credit report, it can make you realize the importance of maintaining good credit in order to get the loan that you need. Sometimes mistakes from the credit agencies occur so also check for accuracy.

Learn about inquiries on your credit report

Make sure when you are applying for a loan you know whether it is a soft or hard inquiry. Hard inquiries can hurt your credit score if you have too many of them. Also make sure you do not apply to too many creditors at once because that could also negatively affect your credit score. If you have a credit score that isn’t too good, then you should familiarize yourself with what looks good on your credit report to credit bureaus. By doing so then you can make your credit report look out standing and get the loan you need much easier than if you weren’t to do so. Lastly, you should stay positive about building your credit so you won’t be stressed when you go out to apply for a loan after your credit is built back up. Here is a good article about what the credit bureau’s look for. Small steps really go a long way when rebuilding your credit. Happy rebuilding!

Paying Down Debt! April 22, 2016

Essential steps to pay off your credit card debt

If you have multiple credit cards or even one credit card for that matter, you know it is extremely easy effortless to manage your way into debt. Credit cards allow consumers to spend money that they do not have. Debt is a horrifying situation to get yourself into and having a tremendous amount of debt is intimidating when you are trying to pay it off. You constantly wondering how you are going to finagle your way out of debt and hopefully keep yourself out of debt after paying it off.

Create personal financial plan

Essential steps to pay off your credit card debt

The first step to managing your debt is to create a budget that is sustainable. List out your monthly expenses (i.e rent, groceries, monthly bills). Add up those expenses and them deduct them from how much you earn in one month from work. After doing this it will give you a better sense of how much money you can spend on your debt. By having an organized list, it can help you negotiate your debt. It will also give you a visual on how much money you have and how much debt you’re in that will make it easy for you to understand.

Determine which credit card is important to pay first as per interest rate

The second step in consolidating your debt is to make a list of your credit cards with the credit card with the highest interest rate being first and the credit card with the lowest interest rate being last. This will help you keep focused and it will help you prioritize your debt. You should pay the minimum on each card every month and then put extra money towards the credit card with the highest interest rate. Once that credit card is paid off then you can cross that card off your list and pay extra money towards the next credit card on the list. You should repeat this cycle until each credit card is paid off. If you get bonuses at work, then you should put those bonuses towards your credit card debt instead of spending it on things you don’t need.

Pause on using credit card

You should pause on using your credit cards while you pay them off. This will prevent you from having further debt by not spending money you don’t have. Instead focus on paying your debt off rather than digging yourself a deeper hole that could be merely impossible to climb out off. If you’re an avid online shopper, then it would be wise to clear your credit card information. Some online stores save your credit information so it can be easier when you check out. But if you clear that history it will actually be more tedious to online shop so it will make you rethink about what you are about to purchase and maybe make you realize that you probably don’t need that item. Which saves you more money!

Sell unused items for extra cash

Another easier way to get some extra loot is to sell your unused items. That book shelf collecting dust in the basement could be useful to someone else and it will help you receive extra cash in your pocket to pay off your debt. You can sell your unwanted items on Amazon, eBay, craigslist, or the mobile app Let Go. Let Go is essentially an upgraded craigslist and it is more mobile friendly than craigslist. Your items may have a better advantage and quicker time being sold on Let Go vs. on craigslist.

Change bad expensive spending habits

Last but not least, you should change your spending habits and start saving money. When you have money saved up it will help prevent you from going into debt and spending money you do not have. Once you come to the realization of what you really need vs. what you want and can live without, then it will make saving money a little bit easier. After paying off all your debt you should reward yourself with a nice camping trip rather than spending a bunch of money on a vacation. Or you could buy things that you have been wanting for a while like a couple new outfits, a television or maybe even that coffee table you have been eyeing for a while.

Credit cards can be a gateway to getting into debt if you are not good at managing your money. If you are going to get a credit card to build credit you should always make sure your minimum is low and affordable if you ever do max out your credit card so you can pay it off without it being that much of a hit. It’s always a better idea to save money though, you don’t want to always rely on a credit card because what happens if a credit card company goes out of business? Although it is highly unlikely, there is still a possibility it can happen. Hopefully these tips were helpful for you!

What to do if You Owe Money to the IRS?! April 13, 2016

Do you money to IRS?

Do you money to IRS?

The IRS can be scary to deal with especially if you end up owing them money on your tax return. The IRS has an immense authority over our financial lives and that can be nerve wrecking when you have to pay. There are many solutions other than filing for bankruptcy, if you owe the IRS money.

File tax return on time

When owing the IRS money, the first step is to file your tax return on time. If your tax return is not filed before the deadline and you owe the IRS money, the IRS will charge you an additional 5% interest rate of the unpaid balance each month. The IRS can charge up to a 25% interest rate penalty. This makes it an undoubtedly wise decision to file your taxes on time even if you owe money. The next step would be to pay your taxes but let’s say you filed and didn’t pay your taxes; the IRS will charge you a penalty of 0.5% of the unpaid amount each month. The IRS also charges an interest rate of 3% on top of the federal short-term interest rate, which could end up being roughly a 4% interest rate they charge you on the amount of money you owe.

Deal smartly with IRS

When your taxes go unpaid, it is equivalent to taking out a short-term loan from the IRS and sometimes it can be very expensive. If the IRS goes unpaid for too long, then they will start to take immediate action financially. Which could result in the IRS taking money from your paycheck before it even gets to you. It is also known as garnishing your wages. The IRS can also take your assets as a payment or they can put a lien on your properties. If a lien is placed on your property it can’t be sold without paying back the IRS first and it is automatically recorded on your credit report. Tax liens are one of the worst notes that can be placed on your credit report. It is less stressful to pay your taxes than it is to let your taxes go unpaid. If you don’t have the money to pay back your taxes owed to the IRS immediately, then a few options are to take out a short-term personal loan, using your credit card, or to set up a payment plan through the IRS.

Small personal loan to pay off IRS debt

Paying off your IRS debt with a short-term personal loan can be a wise decision. The interest on the loan will most likely be lower than the interest rate from the IRS plus the penalty they charge you for. If you have a better credit score, then it will help with a lower interest rate on your loan. A benefit with a personal loan is that you don’t have to worry about the IRS garnishing your wages, filing a tax lien on your property, or selling your assets. You have to make your monthly payments on your loan or else you’ll end up in a financial crisis.

Pay IRS debt by credit card

Using your credit card to pay back your tax to the IRS can reward you by helping you earn rewards such as cash back or travel bonuses if you use a rewards credit card. The downside to using a credit card is paying the processing fee and if you don’t pay the balance on the date it’s due then you will end up paying an interest rate that can be higher than a personal loan interest rate. The processing fee can range from 1.87% to 2.25%. Paying with a credit card will raise your debt utilization ratio, it is what your credit card balance is compared to your overall credit card limits, which is a crucial part of your credit score.

Inquire payment plan through IRS

The third solution is to acquire a payment plan through the IRS. The IRS offers qualifying taxpayers up to 120 extra days to pay the full amount owed. You can request for an installment plan and make monthly payments to the IRS. If you choose to request an installment plan, you will have to pay a fee of $43. If the tax you owe will make you unable to meet your basic living expenses, then you may qualify for a delayed payment. All of the payment plans the IRS offers, subject to fees and interest.

Owing the IRS money is stressful and tough to handle but you have options that can make it easier to handle. Make sure you have a secure plan that fits your financial needs so you don’t suffer from severe consequences from the IRS.

Getting Ready for Tax Time! Feb. 3, 2016

How to get ready for Tax sessionsHow to get ready for Tax sessions

Taxes can be a bit stressful because they require a lot of personal information that can seem daunting to gather in a short amount of time. Getting yourself prepared will alleviate stress and make you confident about filing your taxes correctly. A happy IRS always ensures you that you will get your tax refund. If you plan on having an accountant do your taxes then you will want to include your social security number is in the same folder as your other paperwork that you give to the accountant and always double check your tax form to make sure your social security number is correct. If a Social Security number for any person listed on your tax return is missing or incorrect then you may not get your refund back or the IRS could delay the process. If you have a spouse and you are filing jointly, then make sure you also include their social security number as well. An accountant files many peoples taxes so a mistake isn’t uncommon to happen. If you have dependents, don’t forget their ID numbers and if your dependents don’t have their number then contact the Social Security Administration immediately. If you plan on filing for the child care credit then you will also need to include the tax identification number of the business that takes care of any children while you are at work.

Collect the w-2 forms

Since you do get taxed on the money you make each year, you’ll  be getting a form W-2 from your boss showing how much was earned, any taxes that were withheld and how much is taxable. If you have more than one job then you should get a form W-2 from each employer. If you’re an independent contractor then the company you worked for will send you a 1099-MISC form showing your gross earnings you made. Being self-employed can be a bit more tricky because you have to document all the receipts, mileage put on your car for business-related commutes, the equipment and supplies bought for your business, and the utility bills paid to keep your business going.

Get in touch with your financial institute

You should always check with your bank or credit union to see if the interest earned on your savings account is taxable. If it is, then you should get the statement from your account holder and get a 1099-INT form. The interest earnings are typically documented on that form. But if you have any connection to a stock or mutual fund then you should get the 1099-DIV form. You will need this form for any stock, mutual fund, or money market account. If you use a broker, then the reports on the proceeds from the brokers transactions will be sent to you on a 1099-B form. Hang on to your year-end financial statements so you can compare them to the final tax documents.

Your properties

If you have a house or homes you are currently paying mortgage for then the tax on them is tax-deductible. Your lender will send you a 1098 form with the amount that is deductible. If you made an extra mortgage payment at the end of last year then make sure that the added interest payment is included in the amount that your lender has counted for. If you own a vacation home, the interest on that mortgage will be on a separate 1098 form and it will only count as a deductible. Mortgage interest is not limited to your primary residence so make sure you have all the correct forms if you have multiple mortgages. Also do not forget the interest you paid on a home equity loan. You can also claim real estate taxes as a tax deduction. Your lender will include the escrow amount on the 1098 form. Any state or local income taxes you paid can count as a deductible, so be sure to check your W-2 form for the amount and make sure you deduct those too. If you don’t own a house then you may still be able to deduct a personal property tax. Be sure to check if the state or county you currently live in charges a personal property tax. This tax is most often on an autos, so if you are paying that make sure the tax collecting agency sends you a statement showing how much you paid so you can put it on your Schedule A.

Donations made

Another good way to get rewarded during tax time is if you give cash to a qualified charity. If you donated $250 or more, you will need to get a note from the group that has acknowledged your gift. If the donation was smaller then you do not need a formal receipt but you will need either a canceled check, bank or credit card statement just in case the IRS has any questions. If you drop off any clothes or items to a local salvation army or collection center, you will need a receipt. But if the items are damaged or not in good condition then the IRS can deny the deductions that deem “minimal monetary value”. Which means that you can not donate trash and write it off. If you volunteer at a local facility you can deduct 14 cents per mile when you drove to help the group. You will need to document the mileage used on a calendar with the days you worked.

Knowing all of this information will help you be prepared. Keeping track of all your documents through out the year and having all of your tax-related documents organized and easily accessible will help you realize immediately if you are missing anything or if you need to make a correction on your tax forms. Also it makes filing your taxes much easier and relieves you of the stress. Which saves you time and money.

How to Save on Travel This Holiday Season! Dec. 1, 2015

Tips on How to Save on Travel This Holiday Season

How to Save on Travel This Holiday Season

While many of us would rather cuddle up on our own couch, in our own home, watching sports this holiday season, the majority of us will be traveling at some point over the holidays. It’s always a good idea to plan early for flights but it’s not too late to try and save on airfares. Here’s a few tips to save on travel this holiday season.

Deals on flights

Be flexible. Because demand for flights during the holiday season skyrockets, travelers can’t be choosy when it comes to their flight details, especially if you’re looking for a cheap flight during this peak travel season. The more flexible you can be with your travel details, including when you fly and which airline you fly, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to score a cheap flight for your holiday travel.

Find alternate airlines and airports 

Consider alternative airports. Flying in or out of an alternative airport can save money when it comes to holiday travel. While you may always fly out of the closest airport to you, compare fares between your preferred airport and nearby airports. Other airports in the area may offer cheaper fares. They may also have flights operated by low-cost carriers that don’t service your preferred airport. Depending on the fare difference, you might end up saving money even if you need to rent a car to get to and from the alternative airport. Flying into or out of alternative airports near your destination (for example, Long Beach instead of Los Angeles) could be a potentially money-saving move.

Do online research

Work with the airline. When it comes to cheap holiday travel, it pays to work with the airline directly. Do your research online to see what flights and fares are available, and then go to the airline directly to book. Flights booked directly with an airline can be cancelled (for a fee), so you can rebook at a lower fare in case the price of the ticket drops.

Travel on the actual holiday. While sitting in the airport on Christmas Day may not sound glamorous, it can help you score a cheaper ticket. Since demand for flight tickets on the actual holiday is lower than the days before and after, tickets may be offered for less. Another bonus? You’ll find smaller crowds, too.

Consider alternative airlines. Cast your search net far and wide to include every airline that flies your route. Sticking to one airline, even if it’s one you use frequently to earn miles and status, limits your ability to find cheaper flights.

Minimize your fees

Airlines are charging more and more fees these days, for everything from legroom upgrades to checked bags. If you’re looking to travel on the cheap, avoid common fees by traveling with a carry-on only, booking your seat in the main cabin and bringing your own snacks. Make sure to keep these tips in mind when traveling this season to get the best bang for your buck! Stay Wise! (References: CheapFlights.com, Marissa Willman)

How the Thanksgiving Football Tradition Began! Nov. 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Tradition

How the Thanksgiving Football Tradition Began

While the majority of us stress about spending too much money, dealing with large family gatherings, and answering infinite questions about when you’re finally going to get married this Thanksgiving holiday, we can all escape from the chaos by watching football all day long. Have you ever wondered why there are games played on a holiday that would seem to be perfect for players to be with their family and relax for a week? Well this is how the tradition all started, and be thankful for it since I’m sure it has been a good excuse in the past to get out of the same long conversation with Aunt Phillis about how she arrived on the Mayflower.

Every year since 1934, the Detroit Lions have taken the field for a Thanksgiving game, no matter how bad their record has been. It all goes back to when the Lions were still a fairly young franchise. The team started in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio, as the Spartans. Portsmouth, while surely a lovely town, wasn’t quite big enough to support a pro team in the young NFL. Detroit radio station owner George A. Richards bought the Spartans and moved the team to Detroit in 1934.

Although Richards’ new squad was a solid team, they were playing second fiddle in Detroit to the Hank Greenberg-led Tigers, who had gone 101-53 to win the 1934 American League Pennant. In the early weeks of the 1934 season, the biggest crowd the Lions could draw for a game was a relatively paltry 15,000. Desperate for a marketing trick to get Detroit excited about its fledgling football franchise, Richards hit on the idea of playing a game on Thanksgiving. Since Richards’ WJR was one of the bigger radio stations in the country, he had considerable clout with his network and convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations nationwide.

The move worked brilliantly. The undefeated Chicago Bears rolled into town as defending NFL champions, and since the Lions had only one loss, the winner of the first Thanksgiving game would take the NFL’s Western Division. The Lions not only sold out their 26,000-seat stadium, they also had to turn fans away at the gate. Even though the juggernaut Bears won that game, the tradition took hold, and the Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving ever since.

The Cowboys, too, jumped on the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving as an extra little bump for their popularity. When the chance to take the field on Thanksgiving arose in 1966, it might not have been a huge benefit for the Cowboys. Sure, the Lions had filled their stadium for their Thanksgiving games, but that was no assurance that Texans would warm to holiday football so quickly.

In 2006, because 6+ hours of holiday football was not sufficient, the NFL added a third game to the Thanksgiving lineup; however, this game is not assigned to a specific franchise. Have a Happy Thanksgiving next week and enjoy some football! (References: MentalFloss.com)

Ways to Save This Thanksgiving! Nov. 19, 2015

Few Ways to save this ThanksgivingHow the Thanksgiving Football Tradition Began

It’s that time of year again when the Christmas decorations and advertisements come out way too soon. Halloween has just passed and now all of a sudden it’s time for Christmas? How come everyone forgets about good old Thanksgiving? Oh yeah, that’s right! Christmas is where all the money gets spent and businesses feel the need to get an early start on taking that money. Well, we aren’t forgetting about Thanksgiving. We want to share a few tips on how to save for this Thanksgiving without giving up much of anything, especially pumpkin pie.

Host a potluck

Split the mealtime burden up by making Thanksgiving a potluck dinner. Not only will this distribute the economic burden among the Thanksgiving table, it offers a chance for new and interesting side dishes and desserts. You may end up with some tasty variations that become new family traditions. You may want to coordinate the dishes with all of the expected guests so you don’t end up with 15 desserts and no side dishes. Not that there’s anything wrong with 15 desserts, but some of your guests may insist on something a little more substantial.

Shop early, shop wisely

Map out your grocery list well before Thanksgiving Day, see what you already have in the pantry, and purchase the rest as you find suitable bargains. Most of your needs for the side dishes will keep for some time, and you may be able to find a deal on a frozen turkey well before the holiday. If you wait until the last minute, you may end up paying a holiday premium.

Keep decorations simple

You really do not need extravagant decorations to make the holiday special. Make your own simple decorations with whatever you have to work with. Natural decorations such as small gourds, pinecones, and leaves can make a festive centerpiece. Check out dollar stores and thrift stores if you want to supplement this with inexpensive store-bought decorations.

Don’t prepare too much food

Leftovers are a typical Thanksgiving tradition (as is overeating), but traditions are no reason to fix far more food than everyone will eat. Quite a few leftovers go to waste every year, as families get sick of eating the same things day after day. If you have an accurate head count for the holiday, you should have a pretty good idea of how much food to prepare. You can also have creative backup plans for any leftovers instead of just living off turkey sandwiches. Consider using your leftover turkey creatively by including it in casseroles and salads, or perhaps a nice turkey chili.

No disposables! 

Paper plates and plastic utensils may save some cleanup time, but they are an unnecessary expense. Besides, the Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to break out the good china and fancy glassware and serving trays. Think about following some of these steps to help you save some extra cash this Thanksgiving season! Stay Wise! (References: CBSNews.com)

How to Establish Your Credit! Nov. 12, 2015

How to build and Establish Your Credit

How to build and Establish Your Credit

Building credit can be complicated. Without a credit card, it’s difficult to build credit history. Without credit history, it’s hard to qualify for a credit card. But if you start at the bottom and use credit responsibly, you can slowly work your way up to an excellent credit score. Take a few of these tips into consideration to help build your credit.

Understand the factors that influence your FICO score. 

The FICO score is the most commonly used credit scoring model. Your FICO is made up of these five factors: Payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit in use, and new credit. The data that influences these factors comes from your credit report. You have credit reports from each of the three major reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — and you have a FICO score from each as well.

Learn the guidelines for building credit. 

Make 100% of your payments on time, not only with credit accounts, but also with other accounts, like your utility bills. Bills that go unpaid may be sold to a collection agency, which will hurt your credit. Use your card regularly. Credit accounts that go unused may be closed by issuers after a certain period of time. When an account is closed, your credit utilization will go up and your length of payment history may go down. Avoid opening too many accounts at once because it can lower your average account age.

Know how to check your credit reports and scores.

You’re entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three bureaus. Many sites offer you free reports, but the legitimate site is AnnualCreditReport.com. Pull your reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion and use our guide on how to read your credit report to make sure nothing’s incorrect.

Get a credit card for no or low credit.

If you’re flying solo, you’ll likely need to start with a secured credit card. A secured card is backed by a cash deposit that’s usually equal to your credit limit. Also, be patient. If you’re using your credit card responsibly and following our guidelines above, all that’s left to do is be patient. Building an excellent credit score takes time. In the meantime, enjoy watching your score creep up from nothing to the 700-800s. Stay Wise! (References: NerdWallet.com, Erin El Issa)

How Wise Loan Can Help You! Nov. 9, 2015

How we help our customers and make them happyHow we help our customers and make them happy


The key to happy customers is personal relationships that provide comfort. Wise Loan not only provides financial services to its clients, but it strives to build lasting relationships with them as well. In business there is a saying that it’s much easier to keep customers around than it is to find new ones. Loyalty to our customers is one way we create this bond between the loan managers and the customers. This bond goes much further than business relations, it forms a comforting feeling that the customer is part of the Wise Loan family. A few of our current customers have shared their feelings with us and they wanted to share them with the world.

Richard from Mooresboro, NC 

 “We’re on a fixed income and we watch every dollar. Wise Loan helped get us over the hump.” Wise Loan is there for situations like this. Many Americans, like Richard, live day to day worrying about their next paycheck and how they are going to make it by. Wise Loan is there for those tough times to get you back on your feet.

Lyndsey, a customer since 2013,

 “I took an installment loan out of $500 and just paid it off! They helped me get back on track financially. Now I’m debt free and plan to stay that way!” Not only does Wise Loan help in emergency situations, but we help you plan and build a better future. Learning simple money saving techniques and planning out loan payments according to your schedule is one way we are there for our customers.

Janet B. 

“The people at Wise Loan are exceptional. They are always so polite and willing to work with you in any way they can. Anyone needing a loan should contact Wise Loan and ask about getting a loan.” Our loan managers are always there to help our customers during the ups and the downs. The relationship our loan managers have with our customers creates a family feeling as we are there with you every step of the way.

Wise Loan wants to help you in your time of need. 

Our loan managers are there for you and want to help you as best as they can. So next time you find yourself in a financial struggle and need a helping hand, join the Wise Loan family and we will take you under our wing to start flying towards success! Stay Wise!

Online Installment Loans – Missouri! Oct. 27, 2015

Wise Loan Online Installment Loans in state of Missouri

MisWise Loan Online Installment Loans in state of Missourisissippi

Missouri, not only the path to the West traveled by Lewis and Clark, but the path to financial success through Wise Loan! That’s right! Wise Loan offers financial services in Missouri! How can Wise Loan help you? Within 24 hours, you can have money deposited into your account in a time of need. Not only is it quick and easy, but Wise Loan is the only loan services in Missouri that offers cash back bonuses. It truly is a smarter loan!

Missouri online installment loans range from $200 to $1500. Similar to other loan services, your approval for a Wise Loan is based off a few deciding factors: credit, employment, loan payment history, and other similar factors. Wise Loan is here for your financial needs!

Payment Plans

Wise Loan also offers payment plans made by you in the state of Missouri! With options of 2 to 12 payments over the course of your loan, you are able to decide when and how often you will make your payments on your loan to best suit your ability to pay. This helps our customers stay on track to work with what is best for them! These flexible options lead to satisfied customers and enjoyable customer-employee relationships.

It gets better! 

Wise Loan offers cash back rewards for residents in Missouri! How do you receive these awards? Timely payoffs on your loans makes you eligible for these cash back rewards that are deposited into what is known as your “Nest Egg” account. For every $1000 borrowed through Wise Loan and paid back on time, you receive $50 deposited into your “Nest Egg” account.

Due to Wise Loan being an expensive form of credit, make sure to be smart when it comes to applying for loans. Unexpected conflicts or emergency situations are the best times to use Wise Loan services as it is there to help you out of a situation and back on your feet. One less problem to stress about is just another step towards happiness! To learn more about specific terms and conditions for Missouri residents, go to https://www.wiseloan.com/missouri-installment-loans today! Stay Wise!

Online Installment Loans – New Mexico! Oct. 23, 2015

Our Online Installment Loans in the state of New Mexico

our online installment loans in the state of new Mexico

Not a resident of Texas or Utah? Don’t stress! Wise Loan also provides services in New Mexico. As Wise Loan expands into new states, we make sure to provide new customers in each new state with the best opportunity to help solve their financial problems. Within 24 hours, you could have the money in your account to get you out of an emergency situation. Whether that be sudden medical bills or car troubles.

Borrowers in New Mexico are able to request a loan from $200 to $1500. Your status for approval is based on several factors that include employment, credit, loan payment history, and other similar factors.

Payment Plans

Not only does Wise Loan offer a range of loan options, but you are able to decide how you want your payment plan set up! Residents of New Mexico have the option to choose between 2 to 12 payments. Make sure to choose the best payment plan that most effectively reflects your ability to pay on time.

Additional Offers

In addition to choosing your own payment plan, Wise Loan offers a cash back rewards program in New Mexico as well! This rewards program is known as your “Nest Egg”. For every $1000 borrowed from Wise Loan and paid back on time, $50 will be deposited into your “Nest Egg” account!

Wise Loan installment loans are an expensive form of credit so make sure to use only in emergency situations. This will help you through the tough times and keep your credit from falling off the deep end if only used in certain situations. For more information regarding the specifications for New Mexico go to our New Mexico Online Installments Loan page today! Stay Wise!

Online Installment Loans – Utah! Oct. 22, 2015

Our Online Installment Loans in the State of Utah

Our Online Installment Loans in the State of Utah

How’s it going Utah? Guess what! Yep you guessed it, Wise Loan also provides services in Utah and there are some specifics you should know about! Previously, we covered the standards for loan services in Texas, and now we want to share with you the benefits of working with Wise Loan as a resident of the great state of Utah.

Wise Loan offers quick loan decisions and great customer service to provide you with the loan you need when you need it. Within 24 hours, you could have money deposited into your account without much effort! In Utah, Wise Loan is the loan service that offers cash back rewards for timely loan payoffs. It doesn’t get much better than earning money back for money you owed!

Specifically for Utah

Residents are able to borrow between $200 and $1500 through Wise Loan. As for any loan service, there are a number of factors that determine if you will be approved for your requested loan. These factors include credit, employment, loan repayment history, and other similar items for consideration.

Not only can residents in Utah receive top-notch service from Wise Loan, but you are able to choose your own payment plan! This means that we base our business plan with the customer at the center focus. In order to limit the stress during financial hardships or emergencies, you decide when you make your loan payments ranging from 2 to 12 payments throughout the length of your loan. Make sure that the plan you pick will work best for you in order to pay off your loans on time to lower your rates and improve your credit.

It gets better! 

Not only can you pick your payment plan, but as stated before, Wise Loan offers cash back rewards to residents in Utah! Repaying your loan on time can earn you these cash bonuses that are deposited into what is known as your “Nest Egg”. For every $1000 borrowed and paid back on time, you will receive $50 back into your “Nest Egg” account.

Do take into account that installment loans are an expensive form of credit. This means that installment loans should only be used when absolutely necessary, especially for emergency situations. APR’s will differ based on the loan term although the faster you pay off your loan, the lower the rates. To learn more about the specifics of Wise Loan’s service in Utah go to our Utah Online Installment Loans page for more information! Stay Wise!

Online Installment Loans – Texas! Oct. 19, 2015

Our Online Installment Loans in the State of Texas

Our Online Installment Loans in the State of Texas

As Wise Loan expands its services into new states, there are certain specifications for each state. Wise Loan offers quick and easy financial services to people all over the country, online installment loans specifically. “How quick and easy?!” you might ask. Within as little as 24 hours, the money you need can be deposited into your account! In the state of Texas, Wise Loan is the only service that offers cash bonuses for timely payoffs. Specifically for Texas residents, here is how Wise Loan can help you!

Ranging from $200 to $1500

Wise Loan offers online installment loans in the state of Texas. There are multiple factors that determine whether you will be approved for a loan, including credit, employment, loan repayment history, and other similar items for consideration.

A major benefit to Wise Loan services is the option to choose your payment plan. Texas residents have the option to choose from 2 to 12 payments based on what works best for you! We know that financial struggles are tough to deal with, so any way to help lighten the stress is our goal!

However, installment loans are an expensive form of credit. With this in mind, make sure to use installment loans only when necessary for unexpected circumstances or emergency situations. Medical bills, car troubles, and layoffs are examples of situations where installment loans can help you get back on your feet. But do keep in mind that faster payoffs result in lower rates.

Don’t forget about the cash back bonuses!

Repaying your Wise Loan on time in Texas makes you eligible for these bonuses. The system in Texas works as follows: for every $1000 borrowed, you earn $50 back into your account. This account is known as your “Nest Egg”.

Now that you have some more knowledge on the Wise Loan specifications in Texas, please visit our website Texas Online Installment Loans page to learn more about how Wise Loan can help you with your financial needs! It is quick and easy to apply! Stay Wise!

5 Ways to Become Financially Wiser! Oct. 7, 2015

Tax season can be a painful reminder of how well, or poorly, you tracked and budgeted your lifestyle the previous year. Knowing how to set up budgets, goals and financial processes isn’t only handy for filing taxes, it’s a lifelong skill you’ll need year after year to remain financially strong. But you don’t have to be a certified financial planner to understand the basics of personal finance. In fact, there are a variety of free resources available to help you expand your financial know-how. Here are a few ideas:

Visit your public library. Your local library is a hub of all kinds of information, including educational personal finance workshops. Public libraries across the country have stepped it up when it comes to educating their local communities, from the Affordable Care Act to helping people balance a checkbook.

Find a powerful expert voice. Some of the most famous personal finance experts have achieved success only after experiencing a financial low. They’re real people who have been there and done that, and have written extensively about the knowledge they gained the hard way. Their struggles are manifest in insightful personal finance books about the best practices for managing money and planning for your future. Planning ahead is equally important. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” series, shares how generating income through assets, such as real estate and rental properties, can help you achieve wealth in the future.

Take a college course. The word “college” might make you cringe by stirring up dollar signs in your mind. But not all college courses come at a price. For example, the University of California-Irvine’s Distance Learning Center provides the personal finance foundation you need to excel through an online learning platform. The free course, “Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning,” was developed by the learning center with the help of a grant from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The course includes 22 lessons ranging from goal-setting to estate planning.

Stalk personal finance websites. More and more websites, on-air personalities and even the personal finance experts noted above have adapted social media into their outreach strategy. Follow or like your favorite finance gurus to get fresh tips on how to manage your money now and in the future. Also, following the finance pages of news outlets on Facebook and Twitter can help you stay on top of current events and how they affect your wallet. By staying aware of financial news stories, you can apply this knowledge to your everyday life.

Get immersed in a TED talk. TED talks began as a discussion on innovation within the technology and science fields, but have since grown in scope to include topics ranging from music to money. While attending a TED conference can be financially daunting at $4,000 or more per attendee, hungry personal finance disciples can find thought-provoking finance lectures on ted.com. The concepts shared at TED talks might best serve someone who’s well attuned to the basics of personal finance, but could be equally engaging for someone who’s just starting with financial planning.

Take a few of these helpful hints into consideration if you are struggling financially or just want to increase your financial intelligence. Taking small steps at a time can lead to exciting results. Stay Wise! (References: Money.USNews.com, Jennifer Calonia)

Wise Loan’s “Nest Egg” Rewards Program! Sept. 29, 2015

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “rewards program”? Probably something about savings, discounts, or free items comes to mind. At Wise Loan, a rewards program is defined as a way to give back to our loyal customers not only through material items, but through a customer experience that is unmatched. Wise Loan’s “Nest Egg” Rewards Program is one way we give back to our customers for their service and to let them know that we are here to help them when they need it most. But what do we mean when we say “Nest Egg”?

Think of your bank account as a baby that you must watch over and protect as it grows. If it is neglected, it may never grow to maturity. You must be smart with managing it and continue to help it grow through savings. The “Nest Egg” Rewards Program is the helping hand in doing just that. Your “Nest Egg” grows as each loan is paid off. For each $1,000 borrowed and paid promptly, $50 is deposited in your account. Let it build and begin borrowing from yourself or withdraw the balance as needed. Over time, as payments are made, your “Nest Egg” will continue to grow into a reliable savings account to be used at your discretion.

The “Nest Egg” Program allows Wise Loan customers to apply cash rewards to obtain a discount on a future Wise Loan. A customer will be eligible for cash rewards or rewards discount upon payment in full of the customer’s current Wise Loan. If the customer wishes to have the rewards discount paid directly to them, the customer must elect to use his or her cash rewards, and acknowledge the reward discount, before the cash reward is paid directly to them. Otherwise, the reward discount will be automatically applied to the customer’s next loan and all future loans, unless the customer elects to have the direct payment made.

Wise Loan knows that customer satisfaction is key to forming lasting relationships. These relationships allow our customers to build personal connections with our employees and to feel comfortable working with them. The “Nest Egg” Rewards Program is another way that we strive to give back to our customers to continue to form that relationship that can’t be measured by any value of money. Stay Wise!

6 Ways to Have Fun on a Tight Budget! Sept. 24, 2015

Why sacrifice your social life because you can’t afford much? There are many ways to enjoy each day while living paycheck to paycheck. Don’t let financial struggles keep you from enjoying life every single day. Here are a few ways to keep a fun lifestyle while working with a smaller budget.

  1. Daily Deal Websites: Some of my favorite places to find deals on food and entertainment are daily deal sites, such as Groupon and LivingSocial. You are given a limited amount of time to buy each deal, which may be an excellent discount (as much as 50% off). However, be sure to check the expiration dates. Many deals are good for several months, but others can be very short.
  2. Event Websites: If there is an upcoming festival or event that you want to attend, look for deals on the event’s website. For instance, I was admitted for free to Summerfest, a music festival in Milwaukee, by attending on Children’s Day, which offered free admission for all (regardless of whether you have kids). Local TV news and newspapers may also have information regarding discounts on upcoming events. Also, keep an eye out for deals while at the event. For example, the local state fair offers a bargain book with coupons for discounts on food from certain vendors.
  3. Restaurants with “Kids Eat Free” Deal: Many family restaurants let kids eat for free or at a reduced price on certain days of the week. Days when business is generally lighter, usually Sundays through Tuesdays, are popular days for this promotion. However, deals on a Friday or Saturday are not unheard of. For instance, a family restaurant in my area offers kids’ meals for $3 with the purchase of an adult meal, seven days a week.
  4. Vendors and Restaurants That Offer Birthday Deals: If you can provide proof, some restaurants offer free dinners or desserts on your birthday, or even at any point during the entire week or month of your birth. You can find birthday deals in your area by going to FreeBirthdayMeals.org and then clicking on your city and state.
  5. Schools: Schools can also offer steep discounts on tickets for shows at local performing arts centers. A school in my area once offered $20 tickets to a Broadway show, which was merely one-third of the regular price. Because the school had bought such a large amount of tickets, the price was greatly reduced, and savings were passed along to students and their parents. You can also have fun with your kids by going along on school trips as a chaperone. For a fraction of the regular cost, you can accompany your child to a museum, a baseball game, an aquarium, or many other venues. Of course, you are responsible for your child and an accompanying group, but it can still be an enjoyable outing for all.
  6. University Performing Arts Centers: If you live in or near a college town, there are likely to be university productions, concerts, and recitals that you can attend for a fraction of the cost of a Broadway show or professional performance. Also, local theater and choral groups put on shows throughout the year, especially around the holidays. Check your local paper for upcoming events.

So make sure to look for some of these offers and deals to avoid having to miss out on the fun because of a smaller budget. We all deserve the time to have fun with friends, and that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! Stay Wise! (References: MoneyCrashers.com, Susan Borowski)

8 Unusual Ways to Save Money! Sept. 17, 2015

We are all aware of the normal ways to save money. “Cut back on this, don’t spend extra on that.” There are many other ways that we can save that you wouldn’t usually think of.

Shop on Wednesdays. Since many grocery stores launch their new sales mid-week, shoppers who browse the aisles on Wednesday get first access to the new deals. At the same time, stores will often honor the previous week’s coupons, as well. That means shoppers can maximize their savings while also shopping during a relatively less crowded time of week.

Check the app before you hit the store. It might sound repetitive, but BeFrugal.com founder Jon Lal says you should always check out shopping lists, recipe builders and even prices through the apps offered by grocery stores as well as their websites. They sometimes offer rewards points and other benefits through those tools, too.

Hit a food truck for date night. This idea might not be great for a first date when you’re trying to pull out all the stops, but for couples who are comfortable enough with each other to go casual, it can work well. Food trucks often offer delicious food for a fraction of the price of a fancy restaurant meal, and you can dine outside, while taking in the sights of your city.

Shop less often for groceries. You might think that you need to stop by the grocery store once or twice a week to pick up fresh produce, milk and other necessities. But FrugalRules.com founder John Schmoll suggests that one of the easiest ways to spend less on food each month is to cut back on your store trips. That will force you to create meals out of items you already have in the pantry.

Use an app to book your next hotel room. A slew of new apps, including StayAtHand, Roomer and Last Minute Travel, make it easy to peruse the best rates on hotel rooms and check availability, too. You can even conduct this research while in route to your destination with the convenience of your mobile device.

Shop with discounted gift cards. Gift card resale sites like Gift Card Granny make it easy to save up to 50 percent on gift cards. Many of them are available for immediate redemption; others need to be shipped through the mail. For just a minute of your time, you can locate gift card deals at major retailers, including Target and Starbucks.

Indulge in meal delivery. This idea might sound expensive, not frugal, but if done right, it can actually end up saving you money if it reduces your reliance on takeout. New meal delivery services, including Plated and Blue Apron, make it easy and relatively affordable to get well-balanced meals (cooked or uncooked) delivered to your doorstep, and they often offer discounts or special deals.

Be a hair model. You might not have considered modeling before, but if you want to score a great deal on a haircut, now might be the time to start. That’s because students studying how to cut hair charge close to nothing. They might lack experience, but they often do a decent job. (References: Money.USNews.com)

How America Has Changed Since 9/11! Sept. 14, 2015

Fourteen years ago the United States wasn’t officially engaged in any wars.  Few of us had ever heard of al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden, and ISIS didn’t exist. We deported half the number of people we do today. Our surveillance state was a fraction of its current size. And, maybe hardest to believe, you didn’t have to take your shoes off at the airport.

America’s involvement in the War on Terror, prompted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, resulted in changing attitudes and concerns about safety and vigilance. It ushered in a new generation of policies like the USA Patriot Act that prioritized national security and defense, often at the expense of civil liberties. These changes had ripple effects across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, where American-led military operations have helped foment rebellions and unrest throughout the region. There are several dramatic transformations brought on by the events of that single day.

On-going wars: Less than a month after 9/11, U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to dismantle al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attacks, and remove the Taliban government.  Two years later, in March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and deposed President Saddam Hussein. Although not directly linked to the terrorist attacks, Hussein was suspected of producing weapons of mass destruction, although none were ever found. The invasion was a key part of America’s newly launched War on Terror under the leadership of President George W. Bush. Our military involvement in Afghanistan turned into the longest-running war in U.S. history. And although formal U.S. combat operations ended in late 2014, the U.S. military remains deeply entrenched there, in an effort to help stem the ongoing Taliban insurgency.

Immigration and deportation: With the goal of strengthening border security, the Bush Administration created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, a cabinet-level office that merged 22 government agencies. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the US Customs Service, both formerly part of the Department of Justice, were consolidated into the newly formed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The agency has overseen a massive increase in deportations, which have nearly doubled since 9/11. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, there were roughly 200,000 annual deportations a year between 1999 and 2001. While that number dropped slightly in 2002, it began to steadily climb the following year. In the first two years of the Obama Administration (2009-10), deportations hit a record high of nearly 400,000 annually.

Airport Security: Long airport lines, full body scans, the occasional pat-down. It’s all par for the course, nowadays, for air travel. But not so long ago, it wasn’t unusual to show up at the airport a half-hour before a domestic flight, keep your shoes tied tight, and skip through the metal detector while sipping a Big Gulp, all without ever having to show an ID. Before the advent of color-coded security threat warnings, pat downs were very uncommon, liquid was allowed, and the notion of having to go through full-body scanners was the stuff of science fiction. Prior to 9/11, some airport security teams even allowed passengers to take box cutters aboard (the weapon used by the 9/11 hijackers). In the wake of the terrorist attacks, airport security underwent a series of major overhauls. And a service that was once largely provided by private companies is now overseen by the Transportation Security Administration. (References: kqed.org)

The Cost of Attendance of College Sports! Sept. 10, 2015

The start of a new school year ushers in a new financial reality for college athletic departments and, with it, questions about the hot new statistic in college sports: cost of attendance, or COA. Schools use cost of attendance to determine a student’s need for financial aid, and federal law dictates the types of expenses that can be taken into account when a financial aid department determines its COA figure for the academic year. Athletic departments have traditionally provided grants-in-aid to cover a majority of COA components — tuition, books, room and board — but NCAA rules have prohibited them from covering travel/transportation and personal and miscellaneous expenses.

SEC programs like Tennessee and Georgia will have to submit methodology for determining cost of miscellaneous expenses in their cost of attendance figures. Comments from Georgia coach Mark Richt have drawn attention to the potential for manipulating the formulas.

In January, however, the power five conferences — the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC — granted the ability to offer student athletes stipends to cover the full cost of attendance, and the other Division I football conferences followed suit.

And that’s where the questions come in. The methods that financial aid offices use to determine figures for travel and personal expenses differ from school to school. Different methods mean some schools offer larger stipends than others, creating a new point of differentiation in the hypercompetitive world of college athletics recruiting.

The change sparked a debate about whether the system could be manipulated to provide higher COAs, and the accompanying recruiting advantage, for some schools. Once COA figures for the 2015-16 academic year became public, many wondered, for example, how the amount of the stipend covering transportation and personal expenses for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, which is $5,666, could be so much higher than the $1,580 stipend at the University of Southern California in notoriously expensive Los Angeles.

Federal rules require COA to be calculated and listed every year, but there’s no requirement that adjustments be made in each category. School financial aid departments generally use student surveys, the Consumer Price Index, or a combination of the two to determine the cost of the travel and personal expenses components.

Susan Fischer, director of University of Wisconsin’s Office of Student Financial Services, said her office adjusts UW’s COA figure annually. It uses student surveys to determine things like the average amount a student spends on cellphone bills.

In addition to the surveys, the financial aid office does its own research. For example, it calls local apartment complexes to get the latest rent figures. It also prices out the cost of two trips home a year for students, both in-state and out-of-state, based on gas, bus and airline fares.

“Madison is not cheap to fly in and out of,” Fischer said. Wisconsin’s travel budget this year is $1,030 for in-state students and $1,630 for out-of-state students. (Article by Kristi Dosh, Sports Business Daily)

How to Save on a Labor Day Getaway! Sept. 6, 2015

Labor Day weekend is always a great time to hangout and relax with some friends. Whether that be by the pool, at the beach, or out in the country side, the weekend is full of fun. Maybe you want to escape the norm and take a Labor Day getaway to relax instead. There a few tips for limiting your expenses on a getaway this Labor Day Weekend.

As strange as it may sound, delay booking a trip. It may seem counterintuitive, but the longer you wait, the better your chances of maximizing savings. Many hotels impose stay restrictions of up to three nights due to high travel demand during peak holidays, but when rooms remain empty days before much-anticipated holiday weekends, prices drop and stay requirements disappear. Waiting until the Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday before Labor Day could up your chances of nabbing a deal.

Try shifting your departure date. You’ll snag a bargain if you’re willing to shift your trip a day forward or backward. Since travel demand is highest on weekends, taking off on Thursday or returning on Tuesday will yield a broader range of options. Another alternative is to leave on Sunday or stay until the Wednesday after Labor Day. Avoiding the holiday rush will increase your chances of getting better prices than if you planned to travel during peak travel days.

Look for new places to travel that most others don’t think of. It may sound cliché, but if you steer clear of popular getaway spots like Seattle or New York City, you’ll stumble upon some incredible destinations that cost half the price of typical trips. You’ll expose yourself to a new place, and save some dough in the process.

Tweet your way to competitive savings. Airlines and hotels often use social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to advertise discounted rates. Travel agencies use social media to give away deals every day. To take full advantage, sign up for customized email alerts, so you can find out instantly when prices decrease for your desired destination.

Wherever you plan to travel this Labor Day Weekend, try to take some of these tips into mind to save some extra cash. There are plenty of Labor Day deals out there where you can save big! Stay Wise! (References: Travel.USNews.com, Clem Bason)

Wise Loan is Expanding!! Sept. 4, 2015

What happens when demand for Wise Loan services increases? We take an initiative to better provide for more customers across the country! With Wise Loan on the rise, we are excited to announce that we have expanded our financial services to Missouri and New Mexico!

Through responsible lending, we are able to lend financial assistance to more qualifying customers. What is responsible lending, you ask? Wise Loan has several aspects that define responsible lending. First off, Wise Loan provides the cash needed. Wise Loan wants its customers to receive the money they need, when they need it, and have their good payment history earn higher credit limits. We also have clear and understandable credit terms. Getting credit shouldn’t be confusing. Clear and easy-to-understand terms educate our customers on the best ways to borrow money. Our responsiveness to our customers separates us from the rest. Wise service means we give a hoot about our customers. It’s more than answering the phone and processing payments. Every customer has their own loan manager who knows them by name and can help them succeed. Wise Loan aims to improve our customers’ credit status. By reporting payment history, we give our customers the chance to improve their credit status and the ability to receive larger loans at lower rates. Lastly, Wise Loan helps build for the future. Every Wise Loan that’s paid in full pays you cash rewards that can be used to borrow from your Nest Egg account in the future or to be withdrawn as needed. This is what makes Wise Loan a responsible lender that you can count on!

With the addition of Missouri and New Mexico, Wise Loan now provides financial services in multiple states. We do not plan to stop there. Look for more states to come in the near future! Stay Wise!

Ways Facebook Can Help Your Business! Sept. 3, 2015

With over a billion people connected on Facebook, it almost seems insanFacebook Logoe not
to promote your business on this platform. Recently, Facebook had over a billion people actively logged into their account for the first time ever. It’s safe to say that Facebook is one of the most dominant social media networks and it continues to grow through acquiring more companies, such as Instagram. When it comes to promoting your business, here are a few ways to do so through Facebook.

If you set up your Facebook page as a local business, you have the option to collect testimonials and reviews from your customers. While you can’t encourage customers to review your business for incentives, you can put up a sign at your business that lets customers know they can review your business on your Facebook page. In addition to having a Facebook page full of reviews, you can add the best reviews to your website. To add a review, click on the timestamp of the review, click the drop-down arrow at the top right and select the Embed Post option. (In most cases, the Embed Post option will be hiding under the More Options link in that drop-down menu.)

The most important way to use your Facebook page for business is to engage with your audience:fans of your content, fans of your business, potential customers, current customers and former customers. With this in mind, create posts and content that engage these groups of people. The traditional rule for audience engagement is 80/20. Eighty percent of your content should be for your audience, and 20% should be for your business (sales, marketing, self-promotion, etc.). This means that the majority of your posts should be aimed at getting your audience to engage with your page. You can do this by encouraging audience participation and sharing content relevant to your niche or industry.

Want some insight into what your potential or current customers want? Survey them on Facebook. A survey not only encourages them to engage with your page, but can also help you discover what products or services they need. Also, if you’re tired of dealing with spam on your business blog, your Facebook page can be a great alternative to blog comments. Add a link to discuss the post on Facebook at the end of each blog post. The link should point to a post on your Facebook page wall about that post. This not only allows you to turn off comments on your blog, but also helps you build a fan base and organic engagement on your page. Plus, the people who see a great discussion developing around a post on your Facebook page will likely click through to read the blog post.

Facebook is a great way to connect your small business to a large community. Utilizing these tools are great ways to get your business on track to an exciting future. Social media is growing, let your business grow with it. Stay Wise! (References: SocialMediaExaminer.com)

Top Ticket Exchange Sites! Aug. 19, 2015

Sporting evePair Of Ticketsnts, concerts, and entertainment shows are leisure activities that many people enjoy with friends and family. One of the biggest concerns is how are we going to afford tickets?! Many direct sellers have over-priced tickets that don’t match up well with our budget. There are ways to get cheaper tickets, but they usually end up with you watching from the worst seat in the house. I have been buying tickets from every avenue possible: friends, scalpers, random ticket websites; and at one point or another these methods either let me down, over charged or didn’t have options! Ticket exchange sites are awesome ways to help save on these events that we all love. Here are some of the top ticket exchange sites that you should keep in mind.

I am extremely comfortable ordering all my events through Finallyitsyours.com. It has been 2 years straight that I have trusted this company with my business and they have earned a lifetime customer. I have always received real tickets (not fake stuff or anything I ever needed to question) in plenty of time for the games or shows or whatever. When I needed help, I was able to speak with a live person about my order and have been pleased with the customer service they provide!

Stubhub is a little expensive but I felt that they were absolutely awesome when dealing with issues. I recently had an issue where I accidentally sent one instead of two tickets and Stubhub straightened it out in under five minutes. Then when one of my tickets didn’t pay right, the customer service representative had it fixed instantly and I saw the PayPal payment.

I have also been very satisfied with the Ticket Lodge, another great option. Their prices are always the same or lower than Stubhub, and unlike other sites they stand behind their tickets. Also, they almost always have promo codes to help you save even more money. I used “SAVE25” and got $25 off my order.

There are many other great ticket providers such as Ticketmaster, TicketHub, and Live Nation. Many of these sites provide various options for cheap tickets to give you the awesome experience that you are looking for. So keep these sites in mind next time when looking for tickets to some of your favorite events! Stay Wise! (References: TheTopTens.com, testimonials)

Little Plastic in your Pocket! Aug. 11, 2015

Many people have created goals in their lifetime involving money. I’m sure almost everyone has had a goal at one time or another that was focused around money. The goal usually revolves around saving money and spending less. It’s easier said than done. Our wallets are full of little plastic cards that can get in the way of these goals.

Credit and debit cards are somewhat necessary if you are not a cash carrier. What else would you pay with? Contrary to some belief, credit cards are not evil. People in debt will say that irresponsible use of that little piece of plastic led them to a bad financial situation. You can either master the credit card, or be mastered by it. Don’t be careless and start swiping. You can’t rely on everything falling into place for you to pay it all off. However, credit cards are a useful way for you to start building up a credit rating. Research different credit card companies and understand the fine print before you apply.

Debit cards are linked with your bank account and automatically withdraw money at the time of purchase. Credit cards have you pay the bill at a later time. Before using a debit card, know the balance in your account. You don’t want to get declined in a store or deal with overdraft fees. Using a debit card is a great way to avoid overspending and that’s why it’s recommended that debit cards be used during the holiday season when buying presents.

Cash is another method to  avoid overspending. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. People are not always big fans of carrying cash because of the risk of losing it. Even so, some places don’t accept credit or debit cards, and having a little cash would come in handy.

No matter what option you use, be responsible, know your limits and control your spending. Stay Wise!

Airfares in August! Aug. 6, 2015

What is your favorite part of traveling? All the expenses rigAirplane Travelht? Of course that’s your favorite part! Excuse me while I go find someone who agrees with this… Well, no luck finding anyone. No one looks forward to the expenses associated with travel, especially airfare. But don’t worry, there is good news! According to Hopper, an airfare prediction app, “domestic airfare prices will drop in the beginning of August and stay at an average of $248 until November!” If you’ve been putting off purchasing holiday travel tickets, you could be in luck.

Pre-holiday, your best months to purchase are August and October, when the prices are forecast at $245. And if you’re planning to travel over spring break, buy your tickets in December, when prices are expected to be at an average of $241—a full 12.5 percent drop from July. Though fall prices are usually, on average, lower than those in the summertime, this year’s expected autumn rates would be the lowest the market has seen in four years. According to Hopper, the app has consistently predicted airfare trends within a single percentage point since beginning to release price indices in April.

Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, says “the decreases are driven by lower fuel prices, which account for a third of expenses for a typical airline; the entrance of low cost carriers like Frontier, Southwest, and JetBlue into different markets; and the unbundling of services, which might mean you’re paying more in add-ons than you were for the all-inclusive flight three years ago.”

If you’re planning on traveling with the whole family, Surry recommends purchasing tickets more than a month in advance for the best prices and availability. Make sure you do your homework. It might seem great to fly from Boston to Orlando for $249, but you could be missing out on the best deal if you have to pay for two additional checked suitcases filled with all the gifts from the grandparents.

Though Hopper only calculates price indices for domestic fights, Surry says August is a good time to travel internationally, as well. With the exchange rate in favor of the U.S. dollar, you can finally take that European vacation you’ve been dreaming of at a dream price.

If you’re planning on taking a trip within the next few months, make sure to hop on buying those tickets soon. It’s the WISE thing to do! Stay Wise! (References: realsimple.com, Liz Steelman)

This article is brought to you by Wise Loan. Wise Loan offers online installment loans in Utah and Texas and gives cash back for timely payoffs to help you save for a better future!

Best “Bang for Your Buck” Honeymoon Destinations! Aug. 4, 2015

SunsetCongratulations! You are now happily married to your one true love and had an amazing wedding with friends and family! The ceremony, the reception, and of course the cake were perfect, but it didn’t come cheap. Now you are left with a hole in your pocket wondering how you’re going to afford the amazing honeymoon that your significant other deserves. Thankfully there are many destinations that will provide you with the honeymoon experience that you dream of without having to chip into your future children’s college funds. Here are a few of the top honeymoon destinations that will save you some extra money.

Mexico is well-known for being a more affordable honeymoon destination, and you’ll find practically an endless number of beautiful beaches, great snorkeling, and all sorts of other activities that don’t cost an arm and a leg. While some of the most famous resorts will run nearly $500 a night, and sometimes higher, you’ll find more budget-friendly options too.  Tulum’s Freedom Paradise is a smaller, boutique hotel located on a secluded stretch of white sandy beach at the edge of the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea. Rooms open up to the sand and sea, starting as little as $79 per person per night with an all-inclusive plan.

While you’ll have to fly to get there, room rates in Puerto Rico are fantastic compared to other Caribbean destinations. Affordable packages can often be found year-round, though fall will bring the very best bargains. In the capital city of San Juan, take in numerous cultural attractions as well as a lively nightlife, or, by taking the ferry to Vieques Island (just $4 roundtrip) where you can relax and soak in the sunshine on miles of secluded sandy beaches. Blue Beach is famous for outstanding snorkeling with an abundance of colorful fish as well as giant sea turtles.

Ireland has become one of the best travel values for those who want to honeymoon in Western Europe. In fact, Dublin has gone from being one of the most expensive capitals to one of the best bargains. Still, your best bet is to visit the Emerald Isle’s spectacular west coast, with its picture-postcard scenery, charming villages, castles and vibrant green that stretches for what seems like forever. With Bed and Breakfast accommodations found throughout the country, you’ll have a wide range of choices, including romantic thatched-roof cottages overlooking the Atlantic, with most priced under $50 per night per person.

In Big Sur, California you’ll find dramatic scenery as well as a beautiful coastline that has inspired numerous artists and writers, like John Steinbeck. Deep gorges cut through rugged mountains, with pine forests extending to the edge of gorgeous beaches, including one into which McWay Falls plunges 80 feet right at the edge of turquoise-hued waters. You’ll find all sorts of accommodations here, including everything from campsites that overlook the Pacific for under $20 a night to cozy ocean view yurts and high end resorts.

Havasupai, Arizona is an ideal destination for adventure lovers seeking a memorable honeymoon on a budget. It’s internationally renowned for having some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth, including magical Havasu Falls. Located in a remote corner of the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Native Reservation, you’ll have to make a ten-mile trek in to reach the falls, but once you get there, you’ll find cascading waterfalls of crystal clear turquoise waters, plunging into travertine swimming holes at the bottom. Accommodations on the reservation include hotel type lodging or camping starting at just $17 per person per night. When it comes to traveling for your honeymoon, keep a few of these destinations in mind to save you some big bucks! Stay Wise! (References: TripsToDiscover.com)

How Your Health Can Save You Money! July 30, 2015

It’s crucial to understand that our health is a long term project. Just as bad habits can degrade health over many years, making improvements may also take years. There are many changes you can implement into your daily life which will not only improve your health, but also save you money in the process.

Dieting is one way to save money while also improving your health. As long as it’s a healthy diet, this is a good strategy to improve health and happiness. You can lower your grocery budget by an average of 25% while losing weight as well. If your goal isn’t necessarily to lose weight, you can still save by dieting in different ways to stay healthy. Some diet programs combine healthy foods at low prices to help you reach your physical potential while remaining financially stable.

Make sure to exercise. The health benefits of exercise are covered everywhere, but in our media driven culture what isn’t always obvious is the fact that you can easily do it without spending a bunch of money on equipment or gym memberships. It costs nothing to walk a couple of miles a day, or to jog or ride a bicycle, but eventual improvements in weight, energy level, cardiovascular fitness and attitude can be substantial. How much money would you save if you could get yourself off of blood pressure medication? It may be more than you think.

So many health conditions are either caused, or made worse, by stress. No doubt life throws so many challenges at us so quickly that stress is inevitable. Still, some of it can be prevented. It’s doubtless that much of the stress we face is brought on by lack of balance. That’s something we can control. Lack of balance can be brought into our lives by spending more than we earn, packing our schedules with more activities than we can reasonably handle or by poor health habits. Identify and correct controllable sources of stress, and you can free up your mind and your time for more productive efforts.

Living a lower risk lifestyle is within our control. The usual suspects like smoking, drinking and drug use come to mind, but we can also add reckless driving and dangerous hobbies. It should go without saying that you can save money by eliminating or at least reducing smoking and alcohol consumption, which has also been shown to produce direct health benefits. And how much will it cost to wear your seatbelt and slow down a bit when you drive? Make sure to take all of these points into account when thinking about a healthier lifestyle. It can save you a lot in the end. Stay Wise! (References: OutOfYourRut.com)

Ways to Save on College Textbooks! July 28, 2015

College is expensive enough as it is. You have tuition, meal plans, housing payments, and much more on top of that. While all these add up to loads of money being spent each year, there is another expense that might be the most frustrating for everyone. Textbooks. Whether you’re a chemical engineer major, accounting major, or biology major, you are going to have to buy texts books throughout college. Although textbooks for some majors cost significantly more than other majors, none of them tend to come very cheap. So how can you save yourself some extra money when textbook shopping? There are several ways to shop smart for textbooks.

Before you even think to search the web or go to your campus bookstore to buy textbooks, you should always read through each class syllabus to see what you really need. Even go above and beyond by asking the professor what materials are necessary for the course. Some professors fail to mention that their course is strictly from their lecture which leaves you sitting with a $300 textbook as a paper weight in your dorm room. Making sure that what you are buying is going to be worth your money is a smart way to save on textbooks. Asking friends who have taken the same course before if all the materials are necessary is also a good way to find out what you need outside of what the professor has told you.

If you can buy a used text book, DO IT! Most of the time you can save from 25-50% off the original price based on the condition of the book. Check out eBay or Amazon, where you can find many used college textbooks in varying conditions. Most campus bookstores also sell used textbooks for a discounted price although online shopping will most likely save you much more due to the abundance of options. If you don’t plan on keeping the book after the course, think about renting the book instead. Just like buying used textbooks, you can rent them off websites and from campus bookstores as well for a discount. Chegg is a great company that sells new and used textbooks and has the option to rent as well.

Whether you choose to buy a new or used textbook, try to sell it to the highest bidder after you finish the course if you no longer need the textbook. A great way to sell your textbooks quick and easy is to sell them to your friends who might be taking the class after you. You might sell it for less to help your friend out with a cheaper textbook than they could find online. Selling books online to others through eBay or Craigslist is a way to make your money back as well. Also, some companies, such as Chegg, will buy your books back from you and put your money on an American Express debit card that can be used time after time as you sell more textbooks back. You can also usually sell your books back to the campus bookstore directly, but you likely won’t get the most competitive price. Make sure when it comes to spending money on textbooks that you make sure you are only buying what you need at the best available price! Stay Wise!

How to Teach Your Kids Smart Spending Habits! July 24, 2015

“I want this! I want that! I want those!” It only takes a few trips to the super market or toy storeKids before parents start to hear this from their kids while walking up and down the aisles. Not only can it be frustrating, but it can be hard to make them sad by saying no. If only kids knew the value of a dollar at a young age. Since that isn’t the case, there are ways to help your child learn more about the value of money as they grow up. Not only will it limit the amount of “I wants” but it will start positive spending habits for them when they have to make their own decisions.

Make sure to always tell your kids the truth. If you’ve been acting anxious and on edge lately, they’ve noticed. Rather than let them wonder why Mom and Dad are working so much or constantly talking about money, explain to them what’s going on in the family’s financial world in terms they will understand. Explain to them how much things cost as well. Some parents are surprised to find out that their kids don’t have a very good grasp on what things cost. A great hands-on way to open their eyes is to take them on a “money tour” around the house. For example, kids might not understand that hot water costs more than cold water, or that bumping up the heat results in higher power bills. This exercise will teach them how they can conserve and thus help the family save money.

As kids grow up, allowances are a great teaching tool for handling money. You don’t have to break child labor laws to find great ways to help your kids earn their allowance rather than just have it handed over to them. A well-implemented allowance program can mimic many money matters that adults face every day throughout their lives. From recognizing the need to earn the green stuff to learning how to responsibly and intelligently spend, save, and invest their allowance, children can gain a solid financial footing from a young age.

Continue to teach them while going through your daily routine. Teaching them to shop wisely is very important. Family shopping trips, whether for groceries or something else, are likely to be your kids’ first encounter with spending. They’ll see you make decisions based on what the family needs, maybe see the occasional coupon used, and will observe how you pay. These trips are a great time to teach them lessons about money and the value of product research and comparison shopping.

Once your kids reach their teenage years, encourage them to get a job. An allowance doesn’t have to be the only way for your kids to earn money. Your child’s initial exposure to the work-for-pay world can start with something as simple as a lemonade stand. Depending on age, he or she might do yard work for neighbors or offer babysitting services. Earning your own money is one of the greatest ways to start implementing smart spending habits. No one likes to spend their own money, especially kids. Once they learn the value of a dollar, they will be sure to be smart when it comes to financial decisions. (References: HVParent.com)

This article is brought to you by Wise Loan. Wise Loan offers installment loans in Utah and Texas and is the only lender to offer cash back rewards for timely loan payoffs.

The Real Value of $100! July 21, 2015

How much is $100 really worth? $100 right? You would think so, but how come this is no longer a reality? How come each state has a different value of $100? Due to the varying average prices on similar goods in each state across the country, the same amount of money will buy you less in some states as compared to others. “Well this isn’t fair!” you may say, but it all has to do with the economic, political, and social conditions within each individual state that causes these fluctuations. States with a high cost of living and above average taxes such as California or New York cause the true value of $100 to be less than expected. The states where $100 is worth the least are the District of Columbia ($84.60), Hawaii ($85.32), New York ($86.66), New Jersey ($87.64), and California ($88.57). States also have different minimum wage requirements which can unevenly distribute wealth among the states and also cause the inflation seen in high-price states.

On the other hand, states that have more readily available resources, such as oil or crops, $100 tends to go further than most other states. That same $100 goes the furthest in Mississippi ($115.74), Arkansas ($114.16), Missouri ($113.51), Alabama (113.51), and South Dakota ($113.38). While some of these states have a lower standard of living, they are able to keep their average prices lower than the rest of the country. Have you wondered how much $100 will get you in your state relative to the rest of the country? Click the map below to see the relative value of $100 in each state. Does your state offer the biggest bang for your buck? (References: TaxFoundation.org)

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This article is brought to you by Wise Loan. Wise Loan offers installment loans in Texas and Utah and is the only lender that helps borrowers get a better future with cash back rewards for timely loan payoffs.

Back to School Saving Tips! July 16, 2015

While the start of the school year may be over a month away, it’s a good idea to plan ahead when it comes to school shopping. The cost to go “back to school” keeps increasing. Over the past few years, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that the average American family would spend more than $600 on back to school supplies. That’s only for an average student while college-age students, who often require many more supplies, especially if they’re moving into a dorm, may spend even more. There are a few ways to limit the amount you need to spend on supplies for the school year.

Believe it or not, you might already have plenty of school supplies lying around your house. Closets, desk drawers, and basement bins might hold hidden treasures that can save you money. Start by rounding up all of the office and school supplies you already own. Put them in a central location so you can make a list of what you have. Keep this list in your purse, or in the car, so you don’t forget it when you shop for school supplies.

Garage sales can be a treasure trove of deals for back to school supplies. Backpacks, gently used shoes, clothing, and even school supplies can be picked up for a song. Start hitting up garage sales for everything you need. It takes time, but you can score some incredible bargains this way. You can also ask friends and family members to keep an eye out for you, while they shop at garage sales.

As your kids grow older, they will insist on having the “latest and greatest.” They may request Jonas Brother’s binders and backpacks, and name-brand clothing from the mall. Although your kids crave these items, these “character-focused” products will quickly destroy your back to school budget. In addition, these items often aren’t made to last. Many trendy clothing items are very cheaply made. So, set limits with your kids, and speak with them about money-based values. Let your children know that companies should be paying them for advertising their products by wearing name-brand clothing. Show them the difference between a cheaply made trendy item of clothing, and a well-made item without a logo, and explain the difference in quality.

If you have a child heading to college, then you will experience some serious sticker shock. From picking up supplies for their dorm room, to investing in college textbooks, sending a kid to college isn’t for the faint of heart. There are many ways to save money on back to school shopping for your college student. First, learn how to save money on college textbooks. Buy used textbooks on sites like Amazon, eBay, and Half.com. You can also compare prices on new books on CheapestTextbooks.com, or buy books on bargain sites like Textbookx.com. Additionally, you can save 50% or more on textbooks if you buy a digital copy and download it to your Kindle, or other e-reader. View textbooks available for digital download at CourseSmart.com or Cafescribe.com. And at the end of the semester, find websites where you can sell used textbooks for cash.

When the time comes to start shopping for school supplies, make sure to keep some of these tips in mind to help save money. It’s the little things that will add up to increase your savings and keep you and your bank account happy! Stay Wise! (References: MoneyCrashers.com)

Ways to Live Happily Within Your Budget! July 7, 2015

Cutting back is no fun. But it may be necessary if you find yourself continually struggling to meet your basic financial demands, falling into deeper debt or getting to the end of yet another month with no money set aside for savings. Is there a way to make those spending cuts without changing your lifestyle? Rather than giving things up, what if you were to implement new approaches that allowed you to maintain the lifestyle you love while still finding ways to save and live within your means?

Take the time to review your recurring bills and monthly statements. See where you might benefit from a renegotiation or an assessment of alternate options. Even ordinary expenses like insurance should be reviewed annually to ensure you’re getting the most appropriate coverage for your current circumstances at the best possible value. Speaking of negotiation, never take a price at face value. You can save hundreds of dollars on things like household repairs and medical bills by doing the necessary research ahead of time and challenging the statements and quotes given.

If there’s one thing you actually want to cut out, it’s unnecessary fees. Stop paying for the “privilege” of things you can get for free. Whether it’s withdrawing money from an ATM or investing in retirement funds, look for low or no-cost alternatives. Utilizing your fee-free options can mean banking an extra couple hundred bucks each year or using that additional breathing room to finance other, more exciting ventures.

Believe it or not, vacations don’t have to get cut out, even when discretionary allowances are tight. Renting out your home while you’re out of town can offset the majority of your getaway costs, allowing you to enjoy indulgence without stressing over excessive additional expense. This strategy is admittedly easier in cities with a high demand for temporary housing, though you can always test the waters by listing your space on Airbnb and seeing how much interest and extra income potential you can garner.

While vacation costs can largely be offset by rental income, more frequent splurges are often harder to accommodate. Rather than cutting them out entirely, see if you can reduce their frequency. Get your hair done every eight weeks not every six. Go out to a nice dinner once a month instead of every week. Not only will this save significant cash without much sacrifice, it will also increase your splurge enjoyment.

If all of these adjustments aren’t enough to make a dent in your debt or prioritize your savings and you’re still struggling with the idea of sacrificing your lifestyle, perhaps you can better commit to saving tomorrow. Rather than folding future raises into your regular monthly budget, funnel those income bumps directly into savings or toward debt pay off or whatever financial goals are of highest priority. This automatic rerouting of additional income keeps you from inflating your lifestyle beyond your means without sacrificing your current standard of living.    (References: US News & World Report)

Tips for 4th of July Savings and Safety! June 29, 2015

Where do you like to celebrate our great nation’s independence? Many of us enjoy a trip to the lake, beach, mountains, or our very own back yard with friends and family. It’s an exciting holiday to take in some sunshine and firework shows while breaking the bank at the same time. The sad truth is that fun costs money, believe it or not. This 4th of July weekend of fun also comes with safety risks as well. Fireworks, traffic, and alcohol are always around for our nation’s celebration. However, there are a few ways to save and stay safe at the same time.

Consumers have a wealth of pricing information at their immediate disposal these days, so in addition to checking out top 4th of July destinations, it makes sense to hunt around for attractive deals online. Booking hotel and transportation accommodations together is often an easy way to save. Too many people are dependent on debt these days, as evidenced by rising credit card debt levels. In the spirit of the holiday, you might want to leverage attractive credit card offers such as the Slate from Chase, which offers zero percent on balance transfers for 15 months with no balance transfer or annual fees, in order to free yourself from your financial burden at the lowest possible cost.

The best way to keep Fourth of July spending under control is to figure out how much you can afford to spend and then plot out exactly how you wish to allocate the funds. This will give you the foresight necessary to prioritize your expenses as well as to search for low-cost substitutes for certain buys that you may now be questioning. For some reason, many people seem to believe the best way to celebrate Independence Day is to drink, get behind the wheel of a car then trade in their freedom for a jail cell. For everyone’s sake, including your own, look into the availability of public transportation and maybe even factor cab fare into your budget.

Here are a few more safety tips to be aware of as well:

  • Be careful when mixing sparklers and young children, particularly because they burn at high temperatures and stay hot for a long time.
  • Know what’s permissible where you live, and obey the local laws.
  • Plan your activity in an area that’s free from dry grass and shrubs. Water down the area with a garden hose in advance and have a bucket of water ready just in case.
  • Always use your fireworks outdoors in a safe, flat and non-wooded area.
  • Always have a sober adult in charge of all fireworks activities. Light only one at a time; you don’t want too much going on.
  • Never touch, throw or combine lit fireworks.
  • Do not manipulate the devices. If the fuse does not ignite, do not relight the firework. You want to let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then douse it with water.

Enjoy your holiday weekend with family and friends, and always remember to Stay Wise! (References: WalletHub)

Summer Travel Saving Tips! June 26, 2015

SummerThe summer vacation season is here! Everyone loves this time of year to take a week or two off of work and travel with friends and family. There are so many places to choose from and so many ways to have some good ole summer fun! The thought of a summer getaway is always exciting but the price tag that comes along with it can be intimidating. Whether you plan on leaving the country or driving only an hour away from home, there are many ways to save on trips while getting the most out of your summer vacation.

If you want to drive somewhere for a summer trip, look around for local attractions that are new to you. Taking a “one-tank” trip instead of a cross country journey will help you save on gas while giving you the same feeling of getting away from home. There are more fun getaways close to your home than you could imagine! You just have to look around for what interests you.

When it comes to looking at places to stay along the way or for the vacation itself, look to rent lodging from the owner. There are deals everywhere to be made by seeking out by-owner rentals, because it is easier to negotiate prices than if you were to stay in a hotel. Beach houses and town houses near major cities are always hubs for by-owner rentals. Usually larger groups will receive discounts as well. So get a group of friends and travel to the coastline to rent out a beach house for a week and be ready to negotiate a price that works for you!

If you are looking to fly to your summer destination make sure to try and save on flights in a few of these ways. One way is to plan a trip a long time in advance in order to buy tickets when the prices are low. Flight booking sites such as kayak.com and bookingbuddy.com are great ways to find deals on flights. When it comes to packing, try to pack as light as possible and take advantage of how many carry-ons the airline permits. Airlines try to nickel and dime us so avoiding extra charges is a great way to save when traveling.

When it comes to summer vacations, make sure to keep a few of these tips in mind to save money without sacrificing fun. So get up and go! Be spontaneous with friends and always remember to Stay Wise!

Ways to Save at the Grocery Store! June 24, 2015

Grocery Store


"Darn it! Out of milk again? Let me run to the store real quick.”

 Just another trip to the grocery store. “Oh those chips look good. Maybe I can make this pizza later and watch a movie. But I need some healthy salad mix as well. I’ll just grab a few cookies as well. Oh hey! There’s the milk!” We’ve all been here. Grocery stores know how to place what we most frequently need towards the back of the store so people like you and me decide to purchase more things that catch our eye as we walk towards the milk. It’s an evil yet intelligent marketing tactic. So how do we get away from the over spending in grocery stores?

There are many ways to limit the amount that you spend at the grocery store. One of the biggest things that most people don’t realize when they visit the grocery store is that you don’t need to fill your shopping car

t to the top. If you have a small shopping list, try not to continue filling your cart after you have what you need. It happens to all of us. We have what we came to get and end up carrying out an artillery of groceries.

When it comes to comparing products, go beyond the basics such as milk, bread, fruits, and eggs. Believe it or not, many products throughout the grocery store with different name brands are produced by the same manufacturer. This is true for many store name brands. While the big names like Campbell’s and Coca-Cola are appealing, smaller name brands are usually just as good of quality for a lower price. Use your phone as well to take note of the price differences of the same products to keep track of the lowest possible price.

Stores are always keeping track of the quality and expiration dates of their meats. Make sure to ask about discounts on bakery or meat items that are about to expire because stores are more willing to mark down prices in order to get those products sold before they go to waste.

Always make s

ure that the “discounted” items are truly getting you a discount. Who doesn’t love seeing the “10 for $10” sales? While these promotions boost sales for a product, the promotion can actually increase the price per item. Make sure to double check that the deal they are trying to give you is actually beneficial. Remember to Stay Wise!

Money Fun Facts! June 19, 2015

Who doesn’t love money?? Everyone loves money and would love to never have to worry about running out of it. Everyone knows what money is used for – buying things, right? Correct! But do you happen to know what goes into making the money that we use every day? Or some of the unusual facts about that money in your pocket? There are more facts about money than you could probably imagine!

Here are some fun facts about money that you might have not known.

– U.S. paper money is not paper. It’s cloth. In Ben Franklin’s day, people repaired torn bills with a needle and thread, none of that Scotch tape!

-Serial numbers are not just numbers. They also use letters as part of the alphanumeric code for the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

-The ink used for money is high tech—very high tech. It has traceable, magnetic, and birefringent (color changing) properties. So next time you think to print fake money make sure you have the right machine to do so! Okay, just kidding. Printing fake money is a federal crime, so don’t get caught! Okay you got me, just kidding again. Don’t ever print money! But I’m sure everyone knows that.

-The blue ribbon woven through the new hundred dollar bill contains thousands of micro lenses that make the Liberty Bell appear to dance. Do you have better moves than the Liberty Bell? I challenge you to test it out in public and see if anyone looks at you weird. They probably won’t.

-Pennies buried in a garden will repel slugs, which get electric shocks from touching copper and zinc. Wow no more need to go buy slug repellant when they eat up your garden! Is slug repellant actually a thing? Who knows!

-Sailors used to pass the time by banging on the edge of coins with the heel of a spoon, then cutting the middle out of the thickened rims to make rings for their loved ones. Who knew, wedding rings don’t have to cost you thousands of dollars! Just make one out of a quarter! I’m sure your significant other will love it…

Now that you know some fun facts about money, maybe you’ll end up on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and answer one of these questions correctly! But then I will be asking for half your winnings:) Stay Wise!

Top Causes of Personal Debt! June 15, 2015

DEBT. The word that haunts people and businesses around the world every day. One can try to run and hide form it, but debt is a scary word that one cannot always avoid. There are ways to keep yourself in a stable financial position, but sometimes unexpected circumstances lead to the word we all dread, DEBT. Now, it isn’t always due to bad luck but sometimes results from poor decision making. When it comes time to deal with that awful four letter word, it is important to know some of the main causes of debt to keep yourself out of it, if possible.

One of the main causes of debt is a reduction of income. When people are faced with a pay cut or even being laid off, income levels aren’t going to be as high as before. The dark side to this is that everyday expenses will remain the same. Rent, utilities, car payments, grocery shopping, and medical expenses are just a few of the expenses that we all face, and these don’t seem to lower in price as your income lowers. It’s the sad truth that leaves many people in debt every year. Short term loans are great ways to handle debt situations to solve a quick problem such as car trouble or a medical procedure.

Poor money management is another cause of debt. We weren’t all born as accountants so how could we all be expected to handle our money properly?  Well, developing a monthly spending plan is a great start to effectively manage your money without aimlessly losing cash left and right. You might begin to recognize bad trends of how you spend your money after creating a monthly plan which can lead to improved habits by learning from it. If you manage money poorly you are setting yourself up for financial failure and no one likes to be continuously digging out of financial holes.

When it comes to personal choices, gambling has proven to be one of the top causes of debt as well. Many people find gambling as a form of entertainment that they may partake in every once and a while. However, there are also many people who devote their life to gambling and become addicted. This leads to large losses of money and results in overwhelming debt. Make sure to catch yourself before falling into the world of gambling and always look out for friends and family who might be getting too involved as well. Gambling is as dangerous as hard drugs and can truly split a family apart, usually because of issues with debt. Don’t let yourself fall into debt if it is within your control, and always remember to Stay Wise!

How to Choose the Right Lender! June 8, 2015

When it comes to financial struggles, stress levels tend to reach their maximum. Being constantly stressed is not a healthy way to go through life. “Well tell me how to relieve my financial stress if you think it’s so easy!” you may say. One way to lighten the load when faced with financial problems, especially short term struggles, is through installment loans. Having a lender you feel comfortable with is a helpful tool to decrease stress and increase happiness. However, there are a few key points to take into account when searching for the best lender.

Great credit scores are always the golden ticket to being approved for loans. While not all of us have excellent credit scores, it is important to do your best to make sure your credit score stays strong. Some situations arise over which we have no control, causing financial hardships that can lower credit scores. If you are in a situation with a below average credit score and are looking to take out a loan, make sure to find a lender that will work with you to improve your credit score while lending you money. Wise Loan, specifically, has implemented a rewards program for those who pay off their loans in accordance with their loan conditions. This rewards program known as the “Nest Egg” will deposit a percentage of your previous loan paid off into a small account that can continue to grow over time. The ability for a lender to work well with you if you happen to have a poor credit score is key when searching for the right lender.

Who loves high interest rates or high APR?!?!? No one does. Make sure to compare the rates of different lenders before settling on one. You will never know how much more you could benefit from lower rates if you don’t do some research. There are numerous lenders that are looking to serve you while also making a very large profit. High APR’s are not where you want to look when searching for a loan because you may end up getting caught in a viscous cycle of missed payments and a decreasing credit score. Although your credit score will have an impact on how large a loan you receive, you still want to make sure the rates on your loan are not outrageous.

While credit scores and payment rates are very important, referrals are also just as useful when looking for the lender that fits you best. Asking around among your friend group, co-workers, or just seeing advertisements are great ways to learn about different lenders. We all know talking about financial struggles is always a hard and uncomfortable conversation to have with others, but utilizing your resources can help you in the long run. Looking on the company’s social media sites to see what people are saying about them is a great way to use referrals to help guide your decision. When it comes to searching for the right lender, always make sure to keep these points in mind in order to make the choice that is best for you! Stay Wise!

Benefits of Short Term Loans! June 2, 2015

Who doesn’t love a helping hand in a time of need? Whether it be health problems, relationship issues, or financial struggles, having someone or something there to help you get through the stress is always nice. When it comes to financial situations that require immediate assistance for a short period of time, short term loans are that helping hand. They have many benefits, but first of all, what is a short term loan?

A short term loan is a form of financing that is attached with a quick repayment schedule. Short term loans may have a maturation period as short as 90 days. The fulfillment of the loan is dependent on the amount of financing; however, all short term loans possess maturity dates that are significantly shorter than regular loans. The repayment schedule associated with the financing is the distinctive characteristic of short term loans. There are many lenders that offer these short term loans. Wise Loan specifically offers short term installment loans with flexible payment schedules and lower rates than most other lenders. Also the ability to build savings through their “Nest Egg” program is another bonus. Now what are the many benefits that come along with these short term loans in general?

Short-term loans are provided to businesses or individuals in need of quick financing. The funds are utilized to satisfy a payment, off-set a loss or to relieve a cash deficit problem. As a result, all initiatives tied to this loan schedule are used to alleviate shortcomings in the short-run. Short term loans are not used for long term financing needs.  The primary benefit of these loans is that they are immediately delivered, enabling the borrower to operate with increased liquidity. Additionally, because of their brief repayment schedules, short term loans do not require serious commitment—the borrower is not indebted to the lender for a significant period of time.

You have the luxury of choosing a short term loan as per your personal circumstances. For instance, those people with bad credit history would like to take a loan for few months with a special target of improving credit score shortly. They can repay a loan in few months and soon their credit score improves dramatically that enables in taking a new loan at lower interest rate. Another instance is that your financial position is weak. Then, short term loans allow you to repay the small loan in a few months and saves you from burdening your finances for so many years as happens in longer duration loans.

Stay Wise!

Ways to Save at the Pump! May 28, 2015

PumpWith summer right around the corner, gas prices are sure to start rising as they usually do around this time of year. Go figure, the season that most of us decide to hop in our cars and go on a road trip to see Uncle Bob or to trek across the country to find a beach is when gas prices reach their peak of the year. Well, that’s just how it seems to go doesn’t it?! While we can’t lower gas prices with a snap of our fingers, there are ways in which everyone can save on those trips to the pump.

Here are a few ways we can all save on gas.

 Filling up on weekdays is a great way to save money because prices tend to rise on the weekends. Paying attention to deals and discount cards at different gas stations can help save money by signing up for rebate programs that offer up to 10% off of gas! Also, avoid driving around on empty if possible. Your vehicle actually tends to use more gas while at a lower fuel level because it starts to run more inefficiently. It’s always a good idea to fill up when you have about half or just under a half tank of gas.

Another way you can save at the pump is by keeping your car as empty as possible. Yes, ladies make sure your back seat isn’t full of a year’s supply of clothes and shoes. And guys, keep the smelly equipment bags full of your sports gear in the garage and not in the trunk. Most people don’t realize that for every 100 pounds of weight in your car, fuel economy decreases by one to two percent. Keeping a full trunk will create drag and limit the efficiency of your gas mileage. Checking tire pressure whenever you fill up is also a great way to get the most out of what you are paying for. Under-inflated tires require more energy to roll which equals more gas consumption. Always make sure to avoid gas stations near freeways as well. It has been known that gas stations along and near freeways tend to have higher prices than those away from freeways.

Keeping your car in as good of shape as possible will also lead to more efficient gas consumption and fewer trips to fill up. Changing oil regularly and checking the air filter are two great ways to keep your car running smoothly for a very low cost. Also make sure to limit the use of air conditioning. The air conditioning unit consumes a lot of fuel and should be used minimally if possible. With the temperatures rising and the gas prices following along, make sure to do yourself a favor by following some of these steps to help limit the amount you spend at the pump! Stay Wise!

Ways to Protect Your Credit Information! May 27, 2015

LockNo one likes to find out that their credit information has been stolen or that there has been money taken from their account. The sad truth is that there are many people out there who steal others credit information every day in an attempt to use your hard earned money illegally. If this is such a wide spread problem then why aren’t there more companies striving to protect this fraud from happening? Well, there are plenty of them actually, but the real way to protect your financial information starts with YOU! While banks and protection services do their best to protect your account information, criminals are always finding new ways to steal what is yours! When it comes to protecting your credit there are several important steps to take every day. One starting point is to make sure your devices and online accounts are secure. Mobile devices have really changed the way we live and the way businesses work in this world, but it does come with some drawbacks to safety. Password protecting your devices and utilizing “auto-lock” functions are essential to keep others out of your personal information. Installment of anti-virus software as well will help better protect your assets. And when it comes to choosing a password, something as simple as 12345 will surely lead to easy access for criminals. Choose a password that uses upper and lower case letters with various symbols and numbers. For example, if my password were to be WiseLoan, a stronger password using the same idea could be w1$El0aN. Going the extra step to protect your information is always worth it in the long run.

Remember yesterday when you threw your new credit card information in the trash and didn’t think twice about it? And no, don’t worry I don’t have a hidden camera anywhere, but little things like that open yourself to more chances of fraud. Always make sure to shred documents that contain personal information! If criminals wanted to sort through your trash and find pieces of information from different forms, bank statement, bills, or receipts, they could easily piece together enough information to create a fraudulent account in your name. If you don’t own a shredder or can’t necessarily afford one, just cut up or tear all important documents multiple times before disposing of them.

“Hello loyal customer! It has been a pleasure serving you, and in order to better serve you in the future we would like to update your current information in our system! Please provide below with your current address, phone number, account number, and social security number so our new systems can process your information faster than ever before!” “Uh oh,” you say. “I better respond so they can update my information….” NO! More than likely emails that come through directly asking for secure information such as this are phishing emails! Which mean they are fake and run by fraudulent groups trying to steal your identity.  Never provide vital information, especially your social security number, through email or to unknown requests. Make sure you are 100% aware that the company or person you are giving your information to is legitimate and will take care of your information as if it were their child.

In the end, taking all the steps necessary while checking your credit and financial accounts regularly will help limit the chances of fraud against you. You should be checking your accounts every day to see if there are any suspicious charges or transactions that you are unaware of. Banks have been doing a good job at catching suspicious activity on an account, but they can’t catch everything. The bottom line is that your credit score is very important when it comes to being approved for loans and determining how much you will pay to borrow. So remember, it starts with YOU! Don’t be careless with your credit information and always Stay Wise!

Why Building Your Savings is so Important! May 26, 2015

How To Start Saving

When it comes to saving money, knowing how to start is the hardest part. Do I cut back on fast food? Trips to the movies? Shopping for clothes? Or even beer?!? We all know that having a savings account is important, especially in times of emergency. But how do we go about building our savings account?The Importance of Saving

Step One, Open An Account

The first step is self-explanatory, just set up a savings account. Seems easy right? Well, that’s not always the case. Start by looking for an account that charges minimal fees, no minimal balance, and if you’re lucky, a decent starting interest rate. The key is to get your savings account lined up with other existing accounts that you may have in order to make money transfer as easy as a snap of your fingers.

How Do I Use My Savings Account?

After you have found an account that fits your needs, the next step is to start building it. Simple ways would be to have your paychecks set up to directly deposit a percentage of that amount into your savings account each time you receive a paycheck. This is a simple way for anyone to slowly build up savings while continuing to use the other percentage of your paycheck for life’s necessities. Remember not to get discouraged if you don’t see your savings account increase right away. It takes time, just like trying to potty train a puppy. There will be frustration at first, but eventually it will stop peeing all over your bedroom! And don’t worry, you’re savings account won’t pee all over your bedroom but it does need time and patience to grow.The Importance of Saving

Starting by depositing small amounts is important to build a habit of putting some money to the side. Small amounts do add up and you will be surprised how much more you can end up with in savings just by depositing 10% of your paycheck into savings each time! Or maybe even consider putting some money that you were going to go spend at the candy store or shoe outlet into your savings account a little at a time. Staying on track is just as important with savings as with any other lifestyle change. Some loan companies will also help build your savings, specifically through installment loans, by depositing a set percentage of your loan amount into an account if paid off in full and on time.

The Importance of Saving

There are many ways to start saving more money, even if it means taking baby steps. Building up your savings is very important to ensure financial stability later in life along with being able to handle emergency situations that may arise. You don’t want to get stuck in the whirlwinds of financial struggles with no savings that lead to continual loans that you can’t pay off. You also don’t want to be stuck with a poor credit score from a lack of savings that might cause poor payment history. So start today! Build up that savings account! Strive for small goals each week and work to make your financial situation better than it was before! Stay Wise!

Prepare for Retirement! May 22, 2015

  1. Save money as early as possible- If it’s for retirement, college, or anything involving money, it’s always best to save as soon as you can. Don’t wait to start. The sooner you start, the more money you will have.
  2. Have a 401k- A 401k is one of the best ways to save for retirement because of the tax deductions and tax-deferred growth on your savings.
  3. Work a small job- This allows you to be socially engaged and keep your money growing.
  4. Estimate how much you need- Do you have anything to pay off? Do you want to travel the world? Consider your future plans and save accordingly.
  5. Manage your savings wisely- Don’t go crazy with your savings. Your savings are a sacred thing you worked so hard to build. Manage it smartly so that you pay the lowest tax rates on your withdrawals.

Facts from the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Fewer than half of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
  • In 2012, 30 percent of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k) plan) did not participate.
  • The average American spends 20 years in retirement.

Saving for something is an extremely rewarding process. You get to watch your hard work grow. Saving matters!

Saving for College! May 11, 2015

Plan for college ahead of time to save you money.

  1. Start Now– Saving up for college isn’t so simple. The easiest way to save for college is by starting now. The sooner you invest in an education, the more you will have in the future. Try saving $50-$200 a month until it’s time for your child to go off to school.
  2. Don’t save for all 4 years– Scholarships, grants, and loans are available to students. It is difficult to save up money, but always remember that there are other aids available to help you. Always apply for financial aid no matter what your circumstance is. On average, around 60% of students receive some financial aid from the school and/or government.
  3. Student loans– Taking out a student loan can be a stressful process because of the interest rate attached. Student loans have been in the news lately mainly because of these increased rates. Congress is working to do something about this issue. Only take out student loans if they are absolutely necessary and keep track of how much you borrow each year. The amount adds up without you realizing it.
  4. 529 Plan– You might not have heard of this, but a 529 plan is an education savings plan designed to help families set aside money for future college costs. The main advantage is that the savings are not subject to federal and state tax as long as the money is used toward the educational expenses of the beneficiary.

Financial Priorities! April 28, 2015

There are a lot of lessons to learn in the financial world, but you have to start with the basics. Set your priorities so that you can lessen any financial conflict in the future.

  1. Focus on the Objective- Narrow your objectives and create goals. You might not reach all your financial goals, but you might be able to hit most of them. Identify what matters to you the most so that you can focus your energy on that and complete that goal.
  2. Get Family Involved- Include members of your family to help you reach your financial goals. Saving up for college might be an example of something you are saving up for, either for yourself or your child.
  3. Brace Yourself for Conflict- Not everything goes according to plan. Emergencies might happen that require you to take money away from what you were originally putting it towards. Be flexible and don’t fret. It would be wise to start an emergency fund for unexpected situations that might arise.
  4. Prepare for Change- As we get older, we require different things. Our desires and needs will be different from what they are now. Try to look at your financial priorities every few years to see if it’s still a priority in your life.
  5. Start Now- Don’t wait too long to get started. The sooner you start on your goals, the sooner you will achieve them.

Secured vs. Unsecured Loans! April 20, 2015

There are many differences that separate secured and unsecured loans. Here are some of the differences you should consider when applying for a loan.

Secured vs. Unsecured Loans

Understanding Secured & Unsecured Loans

Secured loans involve an asset that backs the loan. For example, a house backs a mortgage and a car backs an auto loan. Agreeing to a loan means that you are agreeing to the bank taking back that asset if you don’t pay. It acts as a security for the bank in case someone doesn’t pay. An unsecured loan means that the bank cannot have access to any assets. The unsecured loans are usually given out if the person needing the loan has a strong credit history.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are different between these two loans. Unsecured loans typically have higher interest rates because there is nothing else backing it, which makes it risky for the financial institution. The bank doesn’t have collateral to repossess a car or a home if a loan is not repaid. A secured loan has a lower interest rate because there is collateral for the bank to repossess something.

Term Length 

The term, or length of the loan, is shorter with unsecured loans. This is because it lessens the risk on the financial lender. The banks want the money back as soon as possible, and that’s why the amount given is usually smaller than a secured loan.

Qualifying 

Finally, not everyone will qualify for an unsecured loan. Banks want to lend to people who have excellent credit and have a good relationship with the financial institution. This ensures that the borrower can be trusted to pay back the money. Someone with good credit can qualify for a secured loan, but a relationship with the bank is not necessary.

if you are looking for an unsecured installment loan, consider Wise Loan!

3 Common Loan Mistakes to Avoid! April 15, 2015


Worried CoupleTaking out a loan is a common occurrence. We often find ourselves in need of extra cash so we take out a loan, and pay it back. This process is typically beneficial as it allows us to make a purchase when we don’t have all the money upfront. It can also help us build credit or improve our credit score. However, taking out a loan is a big decision, here are 3 common loan mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Taking The First Thing That Comes Along

One mistake people make is taking the first loan offered to them. The first loan option you come across may not be the best out there. For example, you wouldn’t buy the first car or apartment you see. In this case, you would shop around making sure there isn’t a better, less expensive options for you. The same thing applies to a loan! Look at multiple loans to see what makes the most sense for you. Also, you need to read the fine print before signing anything. There might be hidden terms in the agreement that will affect how much you ultimately will end up paying at the end of the term.

Mistake #2: Not budgeting

Unfortunately, there is no free money. Taking out a loan does require that you pay it back! Make sure to budget and set aside the amount needed for each payment to make sure you can payoff your loan on time. Failure to do this will make the loan much more expensive in the long run and could negatively effect your credit. If you’re financially able to, you can pay more than the minimum amount or make extra payments to get your loans paid off quicker and save money.

Mistake #3: Taking Out a Larger Loan Than You Can Afford

Finally, make sure you are not taking out a larger loan than you are able to pay back. Taking out more money means paying more in interest and interest adds up! When making a decision about the amount you take out, make sure to calculate how much you will end up paying in interest and make sure you can afford it. It’s important to only borrow as much as you know you are capable of paying back.

Be wise when you take out a loan. Consult a financial expert if you need extra advice. Everyone makes mistakes, but avoid making a financial one. It could be very costly!

Installment Loans! April 15, 2015

What is an installment loan? An installment loan is a loan that is repaid over time with a set number of payments. The principle and interest are paid back in equal installments and can be secured by the product or personal property of the borrower. These loans are used on major purchases that take longer to pay off. It may take a few months up to many years to pay off. This is a great way to pay for a car, home, or even college.

What Are Installment LoansWhat Are Installment Loans

Installment loans are different than payday loans. According to Avant.org, “In general, payday loans are for a shorter duration, have a higher interest rate, and are often paid back in a single lump sum payment on the borrower’s next payday. In contrast, an installment loan can last for many months and payments are evenly spread out over the term of the loan.”

Installment loans can help those with bad credit or no credit history. How is this possible? These installment loans require multiple payments over a period of time, so it builds a repayment history. This history can be reported to credit agencies and help increase scores if the payments are done on time.

Installment loans are easy to understand because of the few changes there are after the set up. This loan allows you to understand how much to put aside each month so you can pay it back. Making larger payments or extra payments can lower future monthly payments and interest, but it would require a recast (mostly done in mortgages), which is a recalculation of the monthly payments. In most cases, you will have to request this from the lender.

Just remember, do not get a loan you cannot afford. This type of loan requires the responsibility of budgeting and monthly repayments. Only get it if it’s right for you.

Wise Loan is now Available in Idaho!! April 15, 2015

Wise Loan in Idaho

Wise Loan in Idaho

If you live in Idaho and are looking into getting an installment loan, you are in luck because Wise Loan is now in Idaho!

Wise loan offers installment loans, cash advances, quick cash loans, and personal loans to many states through-out the US and now we offer these services to the residents of Idaho too.  Wise loan makes it easy to obtain the loan you nee
d quickly and without having perfect credit, plus with Wise Loan, you can receive cash back bonuses!

Once a loan is paid off in a timely matter, we create a savings account called a “Nest Egg” account and that is where you can either save money or use it for future loan. For every $100 borrowed, you can receive $1 – $5 in your Next Egg account.

Wise Loan offers in Idaho

Wise Loan offers loan amounts between $200 – $2000 and we don’t just look at your credit history in the application process so don’t worry if you don’t have perfect credit. Taking out a Wise Loan can actually improve your credit because we report to all the major credit credit bureaus.

When your loan is approved, applicants typically receive their funds within 24 hours but it can be as soon as the same day! Wise Loan also has flexible repayment terms. Applicants can choose the number of payments necessary to pay off the loan and what days of the month those payments are made.

Wise Loan is Growing! April 15, 2015

Wise Loan is Growing

Wise Loan is Growing

In the United States, loan companies are licensed on a state by state basis. This is because different states have different terms, rates, and agreements when it comes to borrowing money and paying it back. In the beginning Wise Loan was only available in Utah and Texas, in the last few years Wise Loan has expanded and we can now offer online installment loans, quick cash loans, and cash advances to 7 states including…

  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • and Utah

 Wise Loan will expand more

Wise Loan is looking to expand to more states as time goes on, because who wouldn’t want the great benefits that Wise Loan has to offer? Hopefully the next state we offer our Wise Loans to, is your state!