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5 Ways to Avoid Being a Victim of a Payday Loan Scam

A payday loan is a good way to get the money you need when you need it and get yourself out of a bind. But it’s also a good way to fall victim to a scam. 

Below are some helpful tips to protect yourself from payday loan scams. 
Don’t do business with anyone who initiates contact with you
One of the more common payday loan scams happens when a person is contacted by a “payday loan company” by phone or email. The scammer pretends to be a representative of the company and offers the person a loan or claims the person owes money for a previous loan and tries to collect on it. 

These fake companies often use non-business email addresses like Yahoo, Hotmail, or gmail and may contain broken English or spelling or grammatical errors. They may also threaten to sue you, arrest you, or garnish your wages in an effort to scare you into paying up.   

If you receive a call like this, ask for the phone number and address of the company. A scammer will not want to give out any such information, but a reputable company gladly will. Better yet, only get a payday loan from a company for which you make the first contact.  
Don’t send any money in advance
If a company asks you to send money in advance for “taxes” or “processing fees,” it’s more than likely a scam. Reputable payday loan companies collect all fees at the time your payment is due. 
Check with the Better Business Bureau 
Before doing business with a payday loan company, check their rating with the Better Business Bureau. This will give you an indication of how trustworthy the company is. 
Check to see [...]

By |September 30th, 2019|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Avoid Being a Victim of a Payday Loan Scam|
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    How Cash Advances Fit Into Spring Cleaning Your Monthly Budget

How Cash Advances Fit Into Spring Cleaning Your Monthly Budget

Budgeting may seem like a tedious chore, but it’s an important part of life. You need to establish a solid budget to ensure that you have money to pay your bills, support your savings, and live comfortably. Many people aren’t sure how to properly organize their budget and may need assistance, which might include a cash advance loan.

Take a look below at a few helpful tips for managing your monthly budget this spring.
4 Spring Budgeting Tips
Budgeting is more than just writing down a list of expenses and subtracting them from your paycheck. It’s about structuring your assets into an easily manageable system so that you don’t find yourself stuck in a financial rut. Here are a couple of pointers to assist you with managing your budget this season.
Establish an objective
What is your goal for your budget? Do you just want to pay off your bills each month, or are you trying to build up your savings?

You need to establish what exactly you want to get out of your budget, even if it’s something as simple as paying off a loan. Having a clear goal is like having a target, and your budget is the arrow.
Prepare an emergency fund
Emergencies can happen at any moment. Is your budget prepared to handle one? No matter what your objective is, you should always have some type of emergency fund on standby in case something unplanned happens.

Ideally, your emergency fund is equal to approximately two months of take-home pay. If you are unable to secure an emergency fund right away, consider a cash advance near you to help you get started.
Regularly audit your budget
Make maintaining your budget an appointment. [...]

By |May 15th, 2019|Loans|Comments Off on How Cash Advances Fit Into Spring Cleaning Your Monthly Budget|

Ask These 5 Questions Before Your Next Cash Advance

Before applying for a cash advance, it may be wise to stop and ask yourself some questions. Doing so will help you make the best decisions with your money and give yourself the best chance at a positive and successful loan experience.

What to Ask Yourself When Applying for a Cash Advance
Before applying for a cash advance loan, ask yourself the following five questions.
Which type of cash advance should I get?
Cash advances come in multiple forms, and it’s important to get the right type of loan for your situation. Two popular types of cash advances are payday loans and car title loans. A payday loan gives you an advance on your next paycheck, while a car title loan provides you with a larger sum of money using your car as collateral.   
What will I need to bring?
You’ll want to come prepared, so ask yourself what you’ll need for the application process. Depending on which type of cash advance you apply for, you may need some combination of the following:

Your most recent checking account statement
Your checkbook
Your most recent pay stub
Your driver’s license
Your Social Security card
A piece of mail to verify your address
Your car title
Your car registration information

Is the cash advance loan center reputable?
You don’t want to borrow money from somebody you can’t trust. Ask yourself if your local cash advance loan center is respected, reliable, and reputable.
How much time should I plan for?
Life can be hectic, and you might not have all day to spend at a cash advance center. Find out how long the application process takes and work that (along with [...]

By |April 30th, 2019|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on Ask These 5 Questions Before Your Next Cash Advance|

How to Prepare for Tax Season in 5 Simple Steps

Spring means warmer weather and a new beginning. But it also means tax season. Read about some helpful tips for how to prepare for tax season and make this year’s filing a breeze.
Get Ready to Do Your Taxes
Know which forms you’ll need.
W-2, W-4, 1040, 1099, and so many more. There are different types of tax forms required for different types of jobs. Your employer should mail the appropriate form to you sometime after January 1. If you don’t have anything by March, you should probably ask your employer for them. It’s also wise to keep all of your tax forms in one place.
Decide how you wish to file.
You can take your tax forms to a tax preparation service or do them yourself. Most tax preparation companies charge a fee (which can eat up a large chunk of your return), but there are places who have volunteers who will do it for you for free.

If you wish to do it yourself, there are many easy-to-use online services that will walk you through the process step-by-step.
Make a list of your credits and deductions.
There are many things that can count as tax credits or serve as deductions from your taxes, such as having a child, buying a house, getting married, or donating to charity. Make a list of all your potential deductions to maximize your savings.  
Be prepared to pay.
It’s possible that you might receive a nice refund after filing your taxes. But it’s also possible that you might end up owing money to the government. There are several things that can help determine this but the main factor is how many taxes were taken out of [...]

By |March 29th, 2019|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on How to Prepare for Tax Season in 5 Simple Steps|

The Difference Between Payday Loans and Car Title Loans

A loan is always there in a pinch. But just as there are many reasons for needing a loan, there are also several different types of loans. Two popular types of loans are payday loans and car title loans. Let’s look at the difference between the two to help you decide which one better fits your needs.
What is a Payday loan?
A payday loan is a type of short-term loan where the borrower simply writes a post-dated check to the lender for the amount of money needed plus some interest. The loan is paid out to the borrower immediately, and the check is not cashed by the lender until the agreed upon date. The agreed upon date is typically the day of or the day after the borrower’s next paycheck.

A payday loan can be executed very quickly, often in a matter of just minutes. You will generally need:

A checking account and your most recent statement
A driver’s license
A Social Security card
A checkbook
Your most recent pay stub

What is a Car Title Loan?
Taking out a car title loan means you’ll use your car as collateral to secure the loan. When you take out the loan, a lien will be placed against the title of your car. When you repay the loan, the lien is removed. It’s that simple.

You can still drive your car as much as you want while the lien is in place, so you are free to use your car to get to work to earn the money needed for your loan payment. And it’s also typically okay if you do not have full car insurance.

To take out a car title loan, you’ll [...]

By |February 26th, 2019|Loans|Comments Off on The Difference Between Payday Loans and Car Title Loans|

How to Capitalize on Investing in 2019

For many people, a New Year’s resolution is to start saving money. For others, it’s to stop saving money and start investing money. But if you’re new to investing, you may not know where to start.

No worries. We’ve got you covered. Below are five good tips for anyone investing for the first time in 2019.
Investing in 2019: Your Guide
Gold
Gold is generally considered a safe investment and many investors use it to diversify their portfolio. The value of gold is based on supply and demand, and gold is used in everything from jewelry and computers to dentistry and the aerospace industry. One advantage of investing in gold is that it often performs best when the rest of the market is down, such as during wartime or a recession.
Real Estate
We’ve all heard of real estate moguls who’ve made a fortune from selling luxury beachfront properties. But you don’t have to be a high-end real estate agent to make a sound investment. If you have an extra room, you can turn it into rental space for a roommate or list it for rent on a vacation rental site. This is a great first step into the world of real estate investing.
Stock Market
You don’t need to know the ins and outs of the stock market to get some skin in the game. There are a number of good stock options for first-time investors that can get you off and running.
IRA
If your employer does not offer an IRA, you aren’t out of luck. Anyone can open an IRA account and begin contributing immediately. You can choose your level of risk, and an IRA can provide a long-term investment tool [...]

By |February 4th, 2019|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on How to Capitalize on Investing in 2019|

5 Steps Toward Successful Budgeting for the New Year

The best way to save money is to form a budget. If your new year’s resolution is to sock away some cash, constructing a budget for the year is a good place to start.

A budget helps you visualize the money that’s coming in and out of your everyday life and plan ahead to reduce the chances of financial trouble. Below are five tips for budgeting for the new year that will keep you on track with your finances.
List your income and expenses
On a piece of paper or the computer, make two columns. On the left side, write down all of your expenses for the year. This includes your rent or mortgage, all of your bills, child care, car payments, student loans, and money for things like gas and groceries.

On the right side, list all of your estimated income for the year from any jobs, assistance, or other ways of receiving money.

Add up the total for both columns. If the number on the right side is larger than the one on the left, congratulations — you’re living within your means. If the number on the left is bigger, you’ve got some work to do.
Estimate accordingly
You won’t be able to list out all of your incomes and expenses right down to the last dollar. Some of your expenses, like electricity bills or gas, will fluctuate from one month to the next. And the same can be true for your income.

When writing down your expenses, overestimate the amount. Use a number that represents the most you can expect to spend. And when writing down your income, underestimate the amount with a number that represents the least you could expect. Doing [...]

By |January 1st, 2019|General|Comments Off on 5 Steps Toward Successful Budgeting for the New Year|

5 Ways to Get Great Deals While Holiday Shopping

The holiday season brings out the spirit of giving. That also means bringing out the necessity of spending.

 

But Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank. Below, we’ve come up with five tips for how to get the best deals on holiday gifts this year.
How to Save Money on Gift Shopping
1. Price match on the spot
You’re at a store and see the perfect gift for someone on your list. But can you get it for a lower price at another store? Or online? If you have a smartphone, check to see the price of the item at other nearby stores and also online. You may be able to get the same perfect gift for an even more perfect price. Plus, many stores honor price matching, so you may not even have to drive somewhere else to get the reduced price.
2. Get an early start
Waiting until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping often means settling for less-than-ideal prices because of a time crunch. By starting earlier in the season, you can allow yourself enough time to shop around, wait for sales, or double back if needed.
3. Sign up for rewards cards
Many stores offer an immediate discount on your purchase just for signing up for a rewards card. Even if you never use the card, the instant savings are worth the five minutes it takes to fill out the application.
4. Find coupons online
Whether you’re shopping online or in-person, there are deals to be had. There are a number of websites dedicated to offering printable coupons for store shopping or promo codes that can be used for online shopping. Sometimes a considerable discount is just a click [...]

By |December 7th, 2018|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Get Great Deals While Holiday Shopping|

7 Ways to Make Money Fast in Charlotte This Holiday Season

The holidays are coming whether you’re wallet is ready or not. Luckily, there are some easy ways to make money fast, especially if you live in the Charlotte area. Check out this list below and see which ways might be best for you so that you and your family can have a holiday season to remember.

Ways to Make Money Fast in Charlotte, NC
Have a Yard Sale
Pick a weekend when the weather’s nice and host a yard sale. Gather all the things you don’t want or need anymore and set up shop out front. Because it’s 2018, you can also sell a lot of things online. Post items for sale on Facebook or Craigslist to reach more potential buyers.
Drive for Uber or Lyft
As long as you have a reliable car, you can start driving for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. The best part is you can set your own schedule, allowing you to squeeze in customers whenever you’re available.
Become a Dog Walker
If you have some free time during the day (or night), sign up to become a dog walker on Wag! It’s the Uber for dogs. You get to pick your schedule and spend time with some furry friends while making money.
Claim Jobs on TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is a service that connects people who need help doing things with people who can do them. You can sign up to complete tasks like assembling furniture, helping people move, assisting with home improvement projects, and more.
Sell Your Skills
You don’t need to go through TaskRabbit to offer your services to people. You can also ask around to see who needs a babysitter, who needs their driveway shoveled, who [...]

By |November 16th, 2018|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on 7 Ways to Make Money Fast in Charlotte This Holiday Season|

How to Budget and Save Money in Charlotte, NC

With so much to do around Charlotte, North Carolina — from restaurants to shopping centers and more — it can be easy to spend all the money in your pocket. As tempting as that may be, it’s probably not in your best interest. To keep yourself from overspending, check out these helpful money-saving tips.
How to Save Money in Charlotte, NC
Collect a rainy day fund
It’s the oldest trick in the book for a reason. Place a jar on your bedroom dresser or kitchen countertop, and fill it with all the loose change you get when you pay for groceries and make other transactions in cash. Or, make a habit of placing a dollar or two in the jar every time you get home from work. When the jar fills, bring it to your local bank and deposit your collection.

Once the coin machine calculates a sum in 10s, 20s, or even 50s, you can save it or spend it on something you’ve always wanted to do in Charlotte — like go to a football game at Bank of America Stadium or visit Carowinds Amusement Park.
Lookout for free events
After you’ve taken care of the groceries, rent, and monthly bills, save your extra cash and opt for a number of free events and activities around Charlotte. If physical fitness is your jam, stop by the South Tryon Athletic Center Crossfit (STAX) every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a free boot camp.

Visit the UNC Botanical Gardens on a warm afternoon, and stroll through three gardens featuring seasonal flowers, plants, shrubs, and more. The Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve is another free spot where you can walk along nature [...]

By |October 12th, 2018|Tips and Hints|Comments Off on How to Budget and Save Money in Charlotte, NC|