Tips on Paying for College

Going to college can be one of the most financially significant events in an individual’s life. While on the positive side it does wonders to increase the pay scale of your chosen career, on the negative it can stack up such a high debt that it will take a chunk out of many future checks. Because of the importance of going to college and the high cost, it is important to do everything you can to lower the cost of college so that the benefits stay just as good but the cost can be reduced.

Getting scholarships is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of college. There are scholarships that can be awarded to almost anyone. Scholarships are a great way for companies and schools to invest in the school and the country’s future. Scholarships are as simple as getting money taken off of your tuition or getting money in the bank for expenses. These don’t have to be paid back and should be pursued the hardest out of all the financial aids.

Cutting expenses is also a huge part of saving money to pay for college. You can really reduce the debt you accrue if you try to make the college life as simple as possible. Taking steps such as leaving your car off campus eliminate gas prices and can save a lot of money and reduce the debt the have after college. Shopping websites for books early, buying the bare minimum laptop and shopping for cell phone plans are all great ways to reduce the cost of college thus lowering debt.

It is most likely that going to college will require getting loans. There really isn’t very much you can do to get a better deal on loans, the only way to prevent paying a lot of interest is to get a smaller loan. This is where saving comes in of course, the more you save the less loan money you have to get. Having money from working during high school or even just the summer before college can prevent a lot of interest.

College can be very expensive but these tips can help you spend less and owe less. Cutting costs and increasing scholarships and grants can change your college loans from being a crippling debt for years to a small payment. Try and do everything you can to take some weight off of your future finances by cutting costs, and saving money.

Get the Best Mortgage Rate in Missouri

One way to get a good rate is to establish a bank account with a local bank. One local bank here in the Southeast area of Missouri is First State Community Bank, which is based in Farmington, MO. If you work with a local bank that knows you, when it comes down to buying a house or refinancing, you will get extra help from that bank. Small banks want to keep their customers and will give extra attention and spend more time walking you through getting the best rate and/or financial product. They will keep in mind your banking history and be more willing to give in house loans for smaller mortgages and work with you in providing you the best deal. In Missouri, one time to get a really good rate through a local bank is during the winter. This is a time when business tends to be down and people aren’t buying very many houses. Avoid the commonly moving time right before school time because the bank will be overwhelmed by mortgage applications. A local bank will have less time for you and personal attention is the most important aspect of getting a good loan from a local bank.

If you follow the advice given by the Missouri Division of Finance, a website of the Missouri State Government, then you need to shop for the best loan, and not the best bank. They also suggest avoiding mortgage brokers and go right to the source in terms of lenders. However, this website admits that the credibility of the bank does matter, no matter what terms they offer, especially in light of financial problems that occurred with risky loans in the last few years. An important question to ask when trying to get the best mortgage is what the best loan origination fees and closing costs will be. You need to figure this information against the proposed rate to make the best decision.

Another way you can get the best rate is through Bankrate.com. This site is touted by many business magazines as being objective and not just directing you to certain mortgage companies. It allows you to search by area, letting you compare the rates in your area-this can in fact be helpful information to bring to your local bank or to apply somewhere else. But remember when you are using this resource that there are many factors that are involved in getting a certain rate, including your credit history, your down payment, whether you are a first time home buyer, and what type of loan you qualify for. You also have to keep in mind that the overall mortgage rate might not mean as much practically as the monthly payment. Luckily, this site is a great resource for helping you calculate this and help you determine what the best loan is. Getting the best rate means having the best credit possible, so you have to be careful about getting your credit pulled when applying or looking into mortgages. Using this site helps you find background information without committing to an application and having your credit report blemished in the process.

What is the Solution to Finance Inventory for Canadian Business?

Canadian business owners and finance mangers are continually challenged to finance inventory as a component of their overall business financing and cash flow needs. There are solutions to this challenge and we’ll discuss and review some critical factors around inventory finance in Canada.

Inventory financing is the collateralizing of your inventory for financing purposes .Where it gets trick is that it has to work for all parties, yourself, and the lender, when you in fact have existing financing arrangements in place re your overall business finance strategy.

Working capital in Canada generally consists of receivables and inventory – if your sales are growing , and you are collecting receivables and turning over inventory you have a continuous need for more working capital as those two ‘ current assets ‘ grow .

The key to facilitating a solid inventory financing, or purchase order financing in Canada is to help your lender get the feeling they will never have to realize on that inventory to collect their loan or financing proceeds! You want to be able to demonstrate that your inventory is marketable, and that you have the ability to control and count the inventory. A perpetual inventory accounting systems helps a lot in that process – so investigate that with your accountant.

Similar to inventory financing a purchase order financing solution is very complimentary in nature. It is a case of your firm having product to ship but are in effect lacking in your ability to replenish inventory and fulfill orders and contracts.

When clients ask us what can go wrong in an inventory financing scenario we often simply state that you must be in a position to be able to turn inventory over and demonstrate your products are marketable in a worst case scenario .

Inventory and purchase order financing in Canada is specialized – seek out the services of a trusted, credible, and experienced business financing advisor who will be in a position to present your overall financial situation and prospects in the best light – this will include an overview of your current financial position, most importantly also your prospects, and the ability to define a facility based on the overall market value of your particular inventory.

We talked earlier about the challenge of managing through an inventory financing facility based on your current borrowing arrangements. In a perfect world (we know it’s not a perfect world!) you secure both inventory and A/R financing via a chartered bank. The alternative to this is an asset based lending facility, or what is known as an ABL line of credit. This facility margins inventory and receivables to the maximum value, which great increases your ability to draw down on cash flow needs.

In a working capital or asset based line of credit situation you will usually have a larger drawdown on receivable, but a proper inventory financing scenario can easily secure 60-80% of your overall inventory values – that is a lot of additional cash flow if you need to draw down on it.

The key benefits of a properly structured inventory financing facility are that it supplements your overall working capital needs. The facility should revolve, and you should only be paying for what you use. You should also have defined borrowing limits on inventory, and the ability to repay, or draw more financing at your option.

Your best inventory financing ability will ultimately come from your ability, as we said, for you to demonstrate proper accounting and reporting of inventory, as well as information on customer prospects, contracts, etc.

If you structure a proper inventory finance facility you will have access to significantly more working capital , inventory will easily be replenish able, and you should have additional purchasing power based on increased access to cash . Pricing on inventory and purchase order financing varies with the size of the facility, lenders interpretation of the marketability of your product, and your ability to turnover inventory at equal to or better than industry standards based on your own business model.

A proper inventory finance application should be no different that any other type of financing you apply for, so don’t view it as a mysterious type of business financing. Focus on demonstrating clearly how inventory financing will grow your sales and profits, that’s a win win situation for you and your inventory lender.

How to Finance Your Franchise Investment

You have made the decision to purchase a new or existing franchise then quickly realize that basic question – How do you finance your franchise investment.

Money or funding as quickly becomes a top priority and your ability to successfully finance your investment in your new business will ultimately play a large part in your success or failure in your new role as a Canadian entrepreneur.

For non- financial people, those not trained or comfortable in finance that challenge suddenly looms large – at the same time you have read in the papers that business financing continues to be difficult as Canada comes out of the global financial meltdown of 2008-2009.

So how can you be successful then and finance your franchise investment in a manner that allows you to take advantage of your independent business opportunity. The reality is as follows – franchise financing is available in Canada today – it is some what of a custom made financing, and the three largest assets you can bring to the table to succeed are the ability to seek out a trusted and experienced franchise financing advisor, as well as your own business and credit experience, coupled with a relatively reasonable down payment.

The true secret to your overall franchise financing success is the ability to put together a solid, slick proposal that at a high level demonstrates your ability to run the business, the potential financial success of the business, and then presenting that information to sources of franchise financing in Canada.

A key ingredient in all of your planning should be a carefully tailored business plan that highlights the basics we have discussed – this would include a summary of your business experience (and why you will make the business successful), some key financial such as, at least, your sales and profit projections for one to perhaps 3 years. And equally as important in this data is carefull documentation of your costs and expenses.

So let’s assume you have that completed – you now have to present it to a franchise financing and funding source, and ensure you have properly describe the amount of equity of personal funds you will put into the business, as well as the debt component, or total borrowed funds. The magic relationship of the right amount of debt and equity in your business will leave you, as the financial textbooks describe, as ‘properly leveraged’. By that we mean simply that it is probably very wrong to purchase your business with all cash, and equally or moreso as wrong to assume you can or will borrow all the funds needed. Either of those strategies is not recommended!

How are franchises funded in Canada asking our clients? In our experience they are financed mostly by the government sponsored Small Business Loan. In addition that is supplemented by equipment financing where applicable, as well as your own personal investment in the business. Two other sources of financing sometimes come into play; they are a vendor take back on part of the financing, either by the franchisor or the franchisee you might be buying an existing franchise from. Also available in certain cases is the ability to negotiate a cash working capital term loan from the one institution we are aware of that provides that type of financing.

The proper mix of all of the above components of franchise financing will should in fact allow you to successful complete your acquisition.

How to Finance a Franchise – Your Options and Risk

Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase a new or existing franchise are always asking us ‘What are my Financing Options?”. The ability to choose the right financing option (in reality it is the right mix of financing options) is one of the most important aspects of your entry into the purchase and running of a successful franchise in Canada.

It is of course very rare that a franchise can be purchased for all cash, as the amounts involved can be very significant. And in fact, as we will demonstrate, in many cases that would actually be the wrong thing to do. Even the largest and most successful corporations in the world take on debt, there is good debt and bad debt of course (as consumers we now that also. By utilizing the right mix of debt and your own equity you can properly ‘leverage’ the business for greater rewards and returns.

We will use a quick and somewhat blatant and unrealistic example just to illustrate our point. Let’s say that you wish to purchase a franchise for 250,000.00, which is certainly not an uncommon amount. You have the option of paying cash for it (lets pretend!), or you can put 10,000.00$ down and borrow the rest. At the end of one year your franchise nets 20,000.00 in net income, let’s assume. If you had only put in 10,000.00$ of your own money you have generated a 200% return on equity. Even Warren Buffet would be jealous of you. However, had you put in 250,000.00$ of our own money you can clearly see you have many years to go before you get a positive return on your significant initial investment.

So whats our bottom line – it’s simply that debt and the right amount of leverage can be a good thing, and it’s an excellent way to measure the potential returns in any business, including your investment into a Canadian franchise.

Let’s return to our core topic, financing your franchise. The reality is that are several options in Canada to finance your purchase. Those options can relate to either a new or existing franchise – both are quite financeable. One of the main reasons you might wish to consider purchasing an existing franchise is that in some cases the track record and the assets in the business might present an easier case for financeability.

Franchise financing in Canada is absolutely a specialized type of financing. When we sit down with clients to evaluate their options d and focus on the quickest and best way to achieve franchise financing success we can summarize your financing options in the following manner –

-Government Small Business Loan – (By far the most common and popular)

-Your own personal equity or down payment (typically from 10-50%)

– Equipment and asset financing

– Working Capital Term Loan

– Operating facility for ongoing requirements

– VTB – (Vendor take back) – in some cases the franchisor or the seller of the current franchise will waive full payment and agree on a final pre agreed upon payment to be made at some point in the future

Whether you consider yourself financially astute, or if you are concerned and worried that you don’t know enough about financing in general, it is strong recommended you align yourself with a trusted, credible and experienced advisor in franchise financing. Understanding your options, picking your options, and executing on those options within your timelines is the key to franchise financing success.

Grants for Small Businesses Women

Nowadays even though more and more women are getting into different types of businesses, they still find difficulty in arranging for finances for their businesses. Grants for small businesses women are really helpful for all businesswomen. The economic recession that hit the world in the later part of 2008 has left almost every person in financial crunch. The government is concerned with overall development of people and especially concerned with the development of women. The administration is trying to help women come forward and face the situation and for that they are providing moral and financial boost up through grants.

Any woman, who wants to start a new business or expand the existing one or simply wants to run her business smoothly, she can apply for the relevant grants. There are different grants for different purposes and so the first and the most important thing is to find out the most suitable grants from the list available. The best place to look for grants is the government website and here you will get complete information regarding any grant you want to apply. This is a time taking job but it is worth all the efforts when you will receive the money and you will be able to accomplish your business needs with this free financial aid.

The most remarkable and attractive feature of grants for small businesses women is that it is free money and you do not have to repay it. Starting a business is a stressful time and so you should apply for the grants. This grant money will help you fulfill any of your business requirements. You have to keep in mind few points so that you have maximum chances of getting approved for the grant money.

Prepare a solid business plan when you are trying to apply for government grant money. Make sure your business plan includes the details about the money you have requested from the government and also about how your business will be beneficial for the community. Your business plan should be impressive and persuasive when you apply for grants for small businesses women.

Timeline: Your Personal Success Tracker

You might hear the word success and think of: Fame, Glory, Power, and Control. These are great attributes, however they drape quietly over what we really long for, which is success. Fame, Glory, and Power etc. are all individual characteristics that one may desire while another may not. Success is a Universal desire, it has no boundaries, no requirements, and no limitations, though sometimes it can feel like there are lifelong membership fees. This feeling alone may cause many people to give up on their dreams, and their finances.

Well don’t give up just yet, controlling your living is a lot easier than you think. Two important ways to stay on top of your situation are to 1. Recognize and Repair early and 2. Break down your financial structure, and focus on one section at a time. The reason for doing this is so you’re in control, after all the only one who knows your success rate is you. My acronym for success is Something Under Certain Circumstances Enticing Self Satisfaction. That’s all it is, self satisfaction, i also refer to this as financial freedom. One way to show yourself where you stand on financial freedom is by using the Timeline.

Imagine your whole life as if it were dots on a line graph, lets say 10 years back. One line is for your checking account, one for savings, one for expenses, one for your IRA/401K, and then one for anything else you do such as a diet. You will come up with many new lines as time goes on and remember that these are just the fundamentals. Review the following section and try to vision your lines and see where you stand on self satisfaction.

Identify, Assess, Resolve

As you read these, try to apply them to your situation.

Line 1- Checking: From 10 years ago to now this line should be constantly changing, yet always above the expenses on the graph. Line 2- Expenses: This will also be a rapid wave yet the object is to keep it under the checking and savings. Line 3- Savings: Should always be increasing, yet you get to choose the rate Line 4- IRA/401K: Steady consistent increase, towards the bottom of your Timeline in the early years yet working its way to the top. Once you start using this tool monthly, or even weekly, you can identify problems fast while fixing them is easy.

These are just the fundamentals, there are truly so many ways you can use this tool to help you through life. A great way is to demonstrate this to your child. Being financially secure in a way they understand can open up unlimited doors later on in life.

I hope this helps you and your family and any friends that would benefit from the reading.

Beinecke Scholarship

The students, who want to pursue education in the field of arts, social sciences and humanities and find it difficult to arrange finances for their college education, can apply for Beinecke scholarship. This scholarship program is open for all college junior students. The award money that is provided to the student is $2,000 before matriculating in graduate school and when they are attending the graduate school they receive $30,000. This fund has to be used within the five years of undergraduate course. There is nomination needed for the student and every year there are 100 nominations and 18 new scholarships are awarded each year.

To apply for this scholarship, the student must be accepted at any accredited university. This scholarship is open for all college junior students and there are some qualifying factors as well as requirements that the applicant has to fulfill.

Requirements for Beinecke scholarship

The students should be

Ø A U. S citizen

Ø Having high academic record, preferably with GPA 3.9 and above

Ø Having evidence for financial need

The student must be having financial need and that he or she has to prove. If you have been receiving any kind of financial aid that was need based before this or during your undergraduate course, you can produce the evidence. If you have been receiving any merit based scholarship before this, you can produce a letter from your financial aid officer about how much need based financial aid you would require in the absence of the amount you are receiving right now.

If you are a student and meet all the requirements, you can fill the application form.Along with a duly filled application form you will have to submit a financial data statement that the financial aid officer of your institute should complete certifying that you qualify for a need based financial aid. You will need three letters of recommendation, your official transcript, and current resume of at least 2 pages and personal statement of at least 1000 words. When producing the personal statement forBeinecke scholarship, you should describe your background, interests, your plans after graduation and your career objectives as well.

Is There a Future in Finance as a Career?

There was a time when career counsellors made it to a point telling to all young people that a career in finance was the best for them. The markets were booming, and positions in finance companies were easily available. Business schools had student vying with each other to take up the courses which would enable them to make a career in finance. It was not only the finance market that captivated some students. The economy was so strong, that those who are graduated in finance course were unsuccessful when they opted for financial market or investment bank jobs; they went for alternative careers in industry and commerce jobs that involve accounting. The government also offered middle level jobs in finance, and the overall scenario was very bright.

The economy went into a tail spin.

With the economy in a state of recession, the scope in the financial markets had decreased, and those who are graduates in finance, who thought they had secure jobs in investment banks, were facing the possibility of a pink slip. These banks took the worst hit in the financial market turmoil. It followed almost naturally, that accounting jobs in commerce and industry started shrinking as companies cut costs to keep afloat. At this stage only those who opted for public sector jobs seems reasonably secure, but you’ll never know for how long such a situation would last. The severe downturn in the economy could also affect some jobs.

So just what is the future for such financial sector employment?

It is flying in the face of logic, but in spite of the economic recession, finance jobs still have a reasonably a bright future. Most economists agree that the recession in its present form will not last for a long time. They predict it will last for just a short or medium term. This means that if you are in the finance sector of the economy, have a heart, the outlook will become brighter. So if you have lost your job, this may be only a temporary phase, as better times are coming.

The governments all over the world were coming up with various packages to stimulate the economy. So this means that the huge money going into the various sectors chose for stimuli, will need finance graduates to manage the money. It goes without a saying that the only people with a real brilliant and proven record would land these jobs.

All companies which have been affected by the current economic crisis will give their best to survive as best as they can. They would strategize their survival tactics by hiring financial experts to guide their ship through the less troubled waters. The present gloomy state of affairs is mainly due to financial problems, so they will look for financial experts to tackle the financial woes. They may not state their intentions in such clear terms, but will definitely engage people who are well acquainted with commerce and accounting jobs and ask them to concentrate completely on the cost and revenue aspects of financial operations. This could help the companies get through all the turbulence and crises successfully.

Throughout the recent history, any downturns in the economy have always been followed by a boom. Just wait patiently for the good times to show up once again.

Commercial Business Finance in the U.K

With all of the financial turmoil around the world, did you know that getting commercial business financing for a UK business is getting easier than ever? This financing is specifically meant for UK businesses. These loans are meant for business and commercial organizations in the UK. Whether you want to start a new business or build on an already existing business, commercial business financing loans are geared for you.

These commercial business-financing deals come either secured or unsecured. Secured means that collateral must be used. Collateral can be a home, car, or some other real estate. Unsecured loans do not need any collateral. Financing is usually for amounts between $5,000 to $100,000 and the repayment time goes from 3 to 25 years in length.

When looking at commercial business financing loans you need to decide between fixed or variable rates. Fixed rates mean that the interest rate stays the same and the borrower pays the same amount of money every month during the repayment period. Variable rates change at certain points during the duration of the loan, and that new interest rate will reflect the rates in the market.

When applying for a loan, whether it is secured or not, you need to give some documentation. Here is a list of what you need:

-UK borrowers need to fill out a simple loan request that states the type of loan they wish to take and how much money they are looking to borrow.

-If this is a new business there needs to be a good business plan written up. Make sure the business plan covers all the vitals, including financial projections.

-When looking for a loan to expand a business, a summary of the business profile and financial statements need to be made available.

The final decision as to whether or not a loan is offered will take between 1 to 4 business days. It is common for borrowers to be asked to give more financial or background information. If help is needed in getting all the information together and securing the loan, a loan broker can be hired. The UK is full of loan brokers that help with anything that potential borrowers need to get done. There are many loan brokers available, so people should make sure to do research and get the best possible broker available.

When people are looking to finance their business for start up or expansion, commercial business financing loans are providing a great vehicle to get this accomplished. They are made available all over the UK and are changing the face of business.