Quick Freedom from Debt

Debt free

Are you finding it difficult to manage your mounting list of debts? Join the club. Each day, it feels like more is being owed to banks and money lenders. If only you could catch a break, perhaps you could get your finances back under your control. The only problem is that there are so many instances where it is necessary to get loans that you don’t really have the breathing room you sorely need to settle your debt as soon as you can. This can result in you feeling very out of your depth. Thankfully, a company like Fast Track Debt Relief will be able to help you get back on your feet. They give you the paddle you sorely need when you are up the proverbial creek.

No more being backed into a corner

This is the best option for people who feel like there is no way out for them. The debt relief programs at Fast Track are definitely among the most comprehensive out there. They offer a wide variety of programs as well, because they believe in the fact that no two consumers have the same problem. Because of this, most of their programs are fully customizable to suit the requirements of the customer. This is the perfect alternative to filing for bankruptcy. It is the best way to seize the reins of your finances and finally get behind the wheel again. Staying afloat is crucial to your survival in this field.

Skilled professionals working for you

One of their most popular services is the Debt Settlement option. During this process, professional debt negotiators from the company work their magic on your creditors. They use their expert bargaining skills in order to get the value of the debt reduced. Oftentimes this is a fraction of what you actually owe. This means that there is going to be a huge load off your chest, especially when you have multiple debts that need your attention at the same time. This absence of financial stress could very well be a huge leap towards that holy grail of all humanity: financial freedom.

The people at Fast Track are some of the most qualified and skilled experts in their respective fields. The best debt specialists and negotiators in the entire country are available to customers at Fast Track, along with a stellar customer service team who will do whatever they can to make sure that you feel comfortable talking to the representatives.

Employment Not Working Out For You? Why Not Earn Money Your Way!

“I’ve been trying to get a job for the nth time, but still no luck. Should I just give up?”

Short answer – No.

Long answer – Noooooooooo.

With job postings still scarce, job security dissolving, and wage expansion seemingly stagnant at best, many people are looking for ways to create some financial security by creating multiple streams of income. Whether you are tired of your current job or are looking for another source of money for your long-term goals, there are plenty of legitimate ways to do so. And one of the ways it to…

Sell Space in Your Home

Ever heard of bedandbreakfast.com and Airbnb? These are two websites that offer home listing for people interested in selling space in their home for extra income.

If you have a spare bedroom or a house extension, as well as high tolerance for other people living in your home, you may be able to make money just by hosting people. Overnight travelers are always looking for ways to spend less while having a comfortable bed and good breakfast, especially because they’re weary of hotels and motels.

Why? Because homes are certainly more attractive than mainstream sterile environments and drab, run of the mill décor. Many savvy homeowners have been taking advantage of their spare space, and they are making extra money by offering travelers a one of a kind experience in a warm and friendly environment.

What’s best is that most people who use bed and breakfast feel more compelled to pay more for the experience. Your only challenge is the competition in this field, so you need to set up your home in a way that will make for a memorable and comfortable experience for guests. Follow the checklist below to get started:

Location. Most bed and breakfasts are those that are located near airports, tourist attractions or other historic parts of town. It’s because there are two types of guests who prefer B&B’s: families looking for a unique experience and business travelers who are tired of hotel rooms.

Food. You’re staying in a home, why not eat there too? One consideration when setting up B&B is to make sure that you have great-tasting breakfast that will make a lasting impression on your guests. Get creative and serve the type of breakfast that’s traditional in your area.

Service. Your level of service is another key factor that sets you apart from sterile hotel rooms. You’re offering more than a room and board; you’re giving them an experience. Help your guests plan their itinerary or offer a tour if you can. They’re sure to remember you the next time they travel to the town.

Advertising. As stated above, services like bedandbfast.com and Airbnb are good platforms to advertise your home. You may even build your own website or have one created for you. Services like these are a type away in Google.


If it works out well for you, and you think that bed & breakfast is something you can do permanently, then consider owning several more properties in your area. If you’re ready, then home loan options such as NPBS mortgages are a good place to start looking for new properties to create new opportunities.

Best of luck!

Subprime Mortgages: Déjà vu All Over Again?


Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the property market… it appears that subprime mortgages, widely implicated in the financial meltdown of 2007-2008, are making a rather surprising comeback in the UK. And some are worried that this is going to push us over the cliff into a fresh crisis.

A relatively new batch of lenders are targeting people who have experienced serious financial problems such as repossession and bankruptcy, as well as those with lesser dings on their credit records. The mortgages these lenders offer carry interest rates as high as 8%, compared to current best-buy rates of as little as 1.54% on conventional loans.

Included in this new group of lenders are Australian owned entities Bluestone Mortgages and Pepper Homeloans, both of which cater to people who have experienced a “credit event” such as missing payments on a previous mortgage. As well there is Foundation Home Loans, offering buy-to-let mortgages to people who have had financial problems. There are several other lenders in this sector, and all argue that they are simply offering a lifeline to people whose financial challenges have caused them to be rejected by the big name high street lenders.

Observers of the trend are justifiably worried. StepChange debt charity’s head of policy Peter Tutton was perhaps pointing out the obvious when he noted, “Last time around, before the crash, there were some really bad lending practices. Certain sub-prime lenders were lending to people who couldn’t afford it and were vulnerable and were being repossessed.” Tutton also said that even though tougher rules are now in place, he expects the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to be monitoring this market closely.

Other factors are also putting homeownership beyond the reach of many
As most people who have gone house hunting recently could attest, Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis anyway. In particular it is all but impossible to find anything affordable in London and surrounding areas, as prices are skyrocketing and there is a depleted stock of available houses.

There has been some speculation that London is on course to become the next housing price bubble fatality. A report from Swiss financial services giant UBS has declared that London is the most overpriced market in Europe, at risk of a bubble as a result of “explosive price behaviour” since 2013. (It is worthy of note that in comparison to other European banks, UBS suffered among the largest losses during the subprime mortgage crisis, requiring the bank to raise large amounts of outside capital.)

In any case, for the time being finding anything within one’s price range in London and other major metro areas is a fool’s errand for all but the wealthiest. So even for people with reasonably good credit it can still be a challenge to get a decent house in a desirable location. Add poor credit to the mix and the dream of homeownership slips even further away.

Meeting a market need

It is of course easy to understand why there are mortgage lenders who cater to people with poor credit. As the lenders themselves point out they are simply meeting a demand. In fact this phenomenon can be seen all across the lending industry. There are for instance various types of personal loan products for which a credit check isn’t even necessary, and though such loans also come with very high interest rates they are sometimes the only option available to cash-strapped folks. These types of loans have come under a lot of criticism, and the financial authorities have had to rein them in somewhat, but the industry seems to be adjusting and continues to work to meet the needs of people for whom conventional loans are beyond reach.

So it is hardly surprising that mortgage lenders would pop up to target those that have experienced a “credit event” but would still like to own a house. And for people who are keen to realise the dream of homeownership the deals can be pretty tempting. But StepChange’s Peter Tutton cautions that while it is important that people who have had problems in the past are able to be normal consumers again, if someone had been bankrupt or repossessed relatively recently, “you would expect lenders to think very hard about whether their finances have fully recovered”.

If you are struggling to get on the property ladder and are considering one of these “subprime” mortgages, think before you leap. Now would be a good time to review recent history, not to mention taking a brutally honest look at your own financial history and prospects. Carefully consider whether it would be wise to take out a mortgage under these conditions, and by all means consult with a qualified financial adviser as well. The dream of owning a house is a wonderful one but can easily turn into a nightmare if you make the wrong choice. Better to defer that dream and work to get yourself in better financial shape so you will not take on more than you can handle.

Save Today For What You Want Tomorrow

Better tomorrow

As the famous saying goes, you reap what you sow, so if you haven’t been planting any crops for your financial future, the time to start is now. You can begin by asking some simple questions, for example, what are your future plans? Do you have any? If so, what can start doing today to ensure that these will come to fruition? You don’t have to sacrifice every pleasure or save every dime, but simply keep in mind that if you want to achieve your goals of tomorrow, you need to start saving today.

This may seem obvious, but before you can save you need to make sure that you have some money left over at the end of the month. What kind of lifestyle do you lead? Are you living beyond your means? We often find ourselves struggling to live a life we can’t afford to maintain, living from paycheck to paycheck, buying shoes we don’t have the money for, or getting expensive repair work done on our houses on credit.

Oftentimes, this is fueled by a fear of being left out, and according to Investopedia, peer pressure often has a big influence on a large portion of our society’s purchasing decisions. Maybe we want to dress like our favorite celebrities, drive a car like our neighbor’s, or live in a house better than theirs. This is a slippery slope that can lead to a pile of debts accumulating and make it almost impossible to reach the end of the month.

Budgeting, however, is more than a minor change in your lifestyle and if you’re serious about saving money, whether you live in New Orleans or California, you’re going to need to work on that budget day after day, month after month to improve your personal finance.

So try this exercise. Think about how much money you spend in a day. Do you account for what you spend each day? Let’s take for example, your transport. If your workplace is far away from where you live, you could be spending a large amount of your budget on fueling your car every month. Running a car can be a costly business, with repair work, road tax, insurance; and it could be worth considering other options, such as public transport, or riding a bike to work.

Think about writing a shopping list before you go to buy so that you are not tempted to deviate from the list with impulse buys, and record what you spend each day in a journal or excel sheet. You can often be surprised how much money you could save buy cutting out on your daily Starbucks or learning to live without ready-made food and taking your own lunch to work with you.

Take a look at your bank and the credit or debit cards you are using, and make sure that you check the terms and conditions regularly. It’s worth doing some research as you could be paying more interest than you need to and it may be worth changing your provider. Be strict with yourself, without cutting off all pleasures, and stick to this motto – don’t save what’s left after spending; spend what’s left after saving and save today for what you want tomorrow.

This is a guest post by Michael Peggs.

Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.

How to Prepare for Retirement


Your finances are a big deal, whether you think about them regularly or not. Not only do you need to ensure you have enough money to get by today, but you also need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to save for your future.

The cost of everything is rising, and certain benefits like Social Security may not be around much longer, which means you need to do an even better job ensuring that you can retire at a decent age and still live comfortably. There are plenty of ways you can save money for retirement, and the following tips are there to help you make the decision that’s right for you.


One of the most popular ways that people save for retirement is through investment programs. Some people use their company’s 401 K program or opt for their own. Others place money into a Roth IRA. And some simply tackle the stock market on their own. No matter how you choose to invest, it’s a good way to save for retirement, but there are also plenty of risks involved too. If you’re new to the stock market and investment game, then you need to be sure you do some research to ensure you’re making smart investments. Alvexo’s YouTube Channel has a lot of great tips and tricks to ensure you’re making the right choice, or you can us investment apps or talk with a professional financial advisor. The more knowledgeable you are on the subject, the better your chances will be of earning a good amount of money for your later years.


If the stock market is too risky for you, you also have the option of just putting money into your savings account. Most banks offer some type of interest on the money in your savings, which means that you will be able to earn a little bit extra just for putting money away. There are different ways you can save your money. First, you should try to put a certain amount of every check into savings. A good rule of thumb is to put 10% away. If you have a hard time doing this yourself, you can see if your employer will do it for you, as many payroll processors will give you the option of putting your checks into multiple accounts. This way, you don’t even need to think about that money, and you’ll simply have it when you retire.

If you’re too financially strapped to do that, another way to save is to put all extra money directly into your savings account. For example, if you get a tax return every year, put that money into your savings account for your retirement. If you get an inheritance from a parent, put that money into a savings account. If you’re not used to having that money, and if you put it somewhere you can’t touch it, then you won’t be tempted to use it.


Sometimes in order to get extra money for retirement you need to earn it. There are plenty of ways that you can make some extra cash that you can put away for your retirement. For example, if you have an attic or garage filled with stuff, try selling it at a garage sale or even online. If you have a talent, such as sewing, take up a side business doing alterations for weddings or dances. Then, instead of putting this money into your checking account where you will likely just spend it, be sure to instead put it into savings account or investment so that it goes directly towards your future.

In Your Personal Finance Goals, Don’t Forget About Fun


The reward centers of your brain are insatiable. Those little serotonin and dopamine receptors (and whatever else…I’m not a scientist) need frequent stimulation in order to make you feel happy and fulfilled. People experience this stimulation through, among other things, novelty. It’s why we like to go new places, meet new people, and try new foods. It’s also why it’s easy to get stuck in an emotional rut when you aren’t able to break away from your routine for a long time. Yes indeed, novelty is the essence of satisfaction, for some people more than others. But how do we still scratch the itch of novelty and fun when we’re trying to be frugal?

Personal finance is all about self-control with money. But money is how many of us acquire the stuff and experiences that translates into satisfaction. If, all of a sudden, we cut off the flow of stuff we enjoy (eating out at restaurants, paying for awesome entertainment, buying sexy stuff), it’s easy to start to feel kind of bummed out. That’s why a lot of saving and investment plans never really get off the ground. People are just too bored to keep it up. That’s why it’s vital to keep an element of fun in your early saving in investment plans. When you’ve achieved some measure of wealth, you can afford more of life’s luxuries. But to get to that point, you’ve got to learn some tricks.

  • Learn to DIY. If you can learn to do for yourself many of the things that you pay other people to do for you, you’ll accomplish two things which will help you save and invest your money. A) These things will take time, so you won’t have as much time to be bored and wasteful with your money. B) You’ll get the same buzz from learning how to grill the ultimate burger that you will from buying it at an expensive restaurant, especially if you share the experience with friends. Tactics like these can help you have the same satisfying experiences you enjoy, while saving money by doing the work yourself. You’ll also pick up lifelong skills this way.
  • Use Technology Investment. The most efficient way is not always the best way, because it’s not always a way that you’ll stay interested in long enough to actually accomplish. This is especially true of investment. There are plenty of ways to make money reliably, but they’re boring as toast. There are lots of modern apps and services which makes investment easy and fun, but they skim a little money off the top to make their living. Some investors sneer at stuff like this, but I say, if it’s the difference between you investing and not investing, services like these are worth it. CMC Markets Trading Platforms bring the fun to investment. By using fast paced day trading approaches, you essentially gamify your investment, all while learning real skills which will serve you well for the rest of your investment life.

So learn how to have a fun time with your frugality and investment decisions. It may require a change of pace, or an entirely new lifestyle. But it’s still possible to have an awesome life and grow wealthy, without having to pick one or the other.

5 Potential Pitfalls of Property Investment


There is a growing trend towards DIY these days and it is not limited to projects around the home. The internet makes it possible to become a self-taught expert in all kinds of subjects. Increasingly, people look to manage their own finances with advice garnered online where previously they have sought out professional help face-to-face. However, when it comes to property investment, you need to ensure that you’ve considered all the options and that you’re well-equipped to address them. Here are five important areas where you may need to seek professional advice if you choose to buy-to-let.

Tax implications

The rent generated by your second property will be treated as income by the taxman; and must be declared on an annual self-assessment form. You’ll be taxed according to the income band you fall into. Some costs can be offset ñ mortgage interest payments, letting agency costs and maintenance expenses can all help bring down your tax bill, for example. However, you may also face Capital Gains Tax liabilities if you ultimately sell the property for a profit. If you are not fully clear on the tax implications of owning an investment property, it could pay to seek sound financial advice from a savvy accountant.

Legal responsibilities of being a landlord

There are whole swathes of regulation here designed to protect landlords and tenants alike. To avoid falling foul of your legal responsibilities, you need, for example, to have a compliant tenancy agreement in place. The tenant’s deposit must be protected through a UK-government approved deposit protection scheme. The property must have an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate; and you are also responsible for the safety of gas and electricity supplies on-site. Landlords are under increasing pressure to treat tenants fairly Professional help is often advised to ensure you stay on the right side of the law here.

Ongoing property maintenance

Another area you will be legally responsible for as a landlord is much of the maintenance of the property. Bricks and mortar may look like a solid investment, but inevitably require care and attention from time to time. Apart from that, you stand a better chance of leasing to a better class of tenant if the property is well-maintained. Additionally, you will have to pay out for routine costs such as gas and electricity safety checks, decorating between tenants and so on. Fail to add this to your budget and you may well find that your investment costs more than it generates in profit for you. If youíre no expert at DIY, you’ll need someone who is to ensure repairs and so on are carried out safely.

Void periods

Your property won’t earn money if you have no tenants. In fact, an unexpected or protracted void period may wipe out your profit for the entire year. It’s widely accepted that you should factor in at least 20 days a year when there’s no rent coming in. Because let’s face it, if you’ve taken out a mortgage on the property, the bank still expects their payments, no matter what your status. A good agency can help fill the void quickly and efficiently when tenants move on.


Investing in property is a big commitment. You won’t be able to extract your capital quickly if financial disaster strikes your personal finances. Houses take time to sell, unlike shares and bonds which can be disposed of relatively quickly. It’s far better to have a diverse portfolio of investments, rather than to sink your life savings into a single buy-to-let. Take professional advice from an investment broker so you have a sound exit strategy if necessary.

There is a great deal to be aware of and even more to do. That’s why these days, many still turn to professional and independent property investment brokerage services. These provide a dedicated and integrated service to help you invest in property while avoiding many of the common pitfalls – and much of the hassle ñ that being a hands-on landlord can bring.

Here’s How to Beat the Dealership at Their Own Game


If you’re like most Americans, you probably find buying a car as thrilling as it is frustrating. And, like most Americans, you probably find that the bulk of the frustration comes from dealing with manipulative or just plain dishonest salespeople.

Worse? Buying a car is not the investment that buying a home is. Cars immediately depreciate in value, which makes it even more crucial that you get the best deal you can.

The good news is that staying informed about dealership sales practices is pretty easy if you know where to look. While you’re still bound to get the best price if you’re on friendly terms with someone on the sales team, a bit of research can still turn up plenty of opportunities for you to beat them at their own game.

Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck next time you find yourself looking for a new car.

Do the Homework

Doing research before going to the dealer is a no-brainer. 90% of prospective car buyers conduct online research before making a purchase. In fact, 48% of people take anywhere from one to three months to research their options before setting foot on a lot.

Unfortunately, a further 38% of car buyers make a purchase within four hours after they’ve committed to buying a car, which probably indicates that people aren’t weighing their options as thoroughly as they should. The same goes for buying insurance: most drivers are unaware of just a few basic changes you can make to shave a considerable chunk of change off your premium. For example: combining auto insurance with homeowner’s insurance could net you a savings of up to 15% on your bill, for an average total savings of $285 every year.

Likewise, research will tell you not only what kind of car might fit your lifestyle, but also show you the full range of financing options. Take your time and get the full story.

Look Out for Interest Rate Mark-Ups

Would you be surprised to learn that dealerships regularly mark up the interest rates that they offer their customers? It’s true. Research suggests that the average mark-up is about 2.7%. What does this mean for you? It means that you’d be better off dealing with your financial institution directly instead of relying on the dealership to be the middle-man.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, about 79% of all auto loans are made through third-party lenders that partner with dealerships. That’s a lot of money that American drivers are leaving on the table: a cumulative $25.8 billion paid in interest each year. If that’s not reason enough to start thinking differently about how you finance your next car, I don’t know what is.

This probably means that you’ll want to commit to a phone call or a visit to your bank or credit union before you even make it to the dealer. To put it another way, anything that makes you less reliant on the dealership will give you an advantage.

Beware the Bait-and-Switch

For another example of a time-honored dealership “technique,” let’s look at the bait-and-switch. This tactic is almost too simple: it involves the dealership advertising a highly attractive price to lure in potential buyers – but when they arrive, that wonderfully low price they’ve been promised is nowhere to be found.

To be honest, I’m as guilty of falling for this tactic as the next person. Last time I was looking for a new car, I got swept up in the aggressive marketing spread throughout the Sunday paper, courtesy of the many car dealerships in my area. When I got to the dealership, though, all of their too-low-to-be-true prices and rates were nowhere to be seen.

As with anything in life, buying a car is another example of a situation where skepticism is your friend. Again, do the requisite research, and take the time to study valuable resources like Kelley Blue Book to get a more realistic idea of the prices you can expect.

Negotiate Each Expense Separately & Know When to Shop

Dealerships also tend to make use of a tactic known as the Four Square Method. The simplest explanation of this tactic is that they choose to lump together each of the major expenses associated with car buying, including the actual price of the car, the down payment, the trade-in value of your current car, and the monthly payments. You’re well within your rights to negotiate each of these elements as their own transaction; in doing so, you’re very likely to save money versus combining them into a single expense.

Finally, knowing when to visit your dealership could be the difference between a middling deal and the deal of a lifetime. Holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day can offer great opportunities to save—just be prepared for the usual holiday traffic, and a higher-than-usual chance of a fender-bender.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this brief look at a few ways to save money at the dealership. If you’ve had success with techniques of your own, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

Daniel Faris currently works as a freelance blogger, journalist, and ghost writer. He writes about technology for The Byte Beat and politics for Only Slightly Biased and The Sound of Progress.