As I point out on the main page of my recommendation and reference resource Website, there is a great deal of general confusion about the differences and similarities between letters of reference and letters of recommendation. For instance; which is which, and why? How are they different? In what ways are they similar?It’s confusing enough for the average person who only has to write one of these letters every once in a while. However, when you look into it in-depth as I have, and realize that many of the so-called “experts” don’t even know the differences between a reference letter and a recommendation letter, the general state of confusion is very understandable.Based on extensive research into the subject, I define a “letter of reference” as one that is normally more general in nature than a letter of recommendation and IS NOT addressed to a specific requestor. Typically, “letters of reference” are addressed as; “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.The most common letters of reference are:o Employment-related – general reference lettero College-related – general reference lettero Character reference letter – general-purpose personal referenceo General reference letter – various subjectsEMPLOYMENT-RELATED Reference LetterThese are more general letters that are often requested by employees when they leave the employ of an organization. Normally factual in nature, they are usually addressed, “To Whom It May Concern” and provide basic information such as: work history, dates of employment, positions held, educational credentials, etc.These reference letters sometimes contain a general statement (as long as a positive one can be made), about the employee’s work record with the company that they are leaving. Employees often submit these letters with job applications in the hope that the letter will reflect favorably on their chances for the new position.COLLEGE-RELATED Reference Letter These letters are very similar to college-related letters of recommendation, EXCEPT that they are not addressed to a specific individual or requestor. In the college and university context they are typically addressed to officials such as: Director, Admissions or Chairman, Scholarship Selection Committee, etc.These college-related letters can be as specific as a recommendation letter when it comes to describing the subject/person about which the letter is written, but they are more general/generic in terms of targeted addressees. That’s because at the time they are written it is often not clear exactly to which businesses or institutions they will be sent. For example, a person plans to apply to a number of colleges but when the letter is written, the specific colleges are unknown.CHARACTER-RELATED Reference Letter Character reference letters are always written about a specific person by someone who knows them fairly well, and usually focus on a person’s general personality characteristics. They are often used in business and community service situations. Typically, a person will ask for a general character reference letter when they are leaving a company or service organization.The focus of character reference letters are such personality characteristics as: honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, dependability, work ethic, values, community service, and other widely accepted indicators of individual character attributes. These letters are almost always used by people who provide personal and domestic services, where trust is an important factor.These letters are typically addressed in a general way using “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.GENERAL PURPOSE Reference LettersThese reference letters deal with general situations that are not covered by the other reference letters described above. Typically, they address special situations such as tenant to landlord letters, business customer references, pet owner testimonials, etc. These letters are always addressed in a general way using “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.Watch Out…Over the years, the line between “letters of reference” and “letters of recommendation” has become quite blurred, and many people and institutions now use the two terms interchangeably. As far as those organizations are concerned, both letters are exactly the same thing.Accordingly, many colleges and universities, as well as some companies and institutions, use the terms “reference letters” and/or “letters of reference” when referring to exactly the same thing as what many other colleges, universities, companies and institutions call “recommendation letter” and/or “letter of recommendation”.So, when dealing with these types of organizations or institutions, MAKE SURE that you use whichever term they use in the same way that they use it. DON’T try to convert them to your terminology. That will just confuse things and you will pay the price.Copyright © Shaun R. Fawcett. All rights reserved.
Intellectual Property (or IP as it is more commonly called) can sneak up on some businesses as it may start from a “good idea” that helps the business survive and then gradually become an integral part of the business and become a critical part of its existence. Interestingly, IP also comes in many shapes and sizes. A business owner therefore needs to recognize these different shapes and sizes so if they choose to sell their business, they have the right legal protection in place that protects an intellectual property asset and therefore rightly earns the owner the amount it is worth.
So what are the different types of intellectual property? The IRS recognizes the following when they are part of a business transaction.
• Computer Software
• Engineering Designs
• Copyright resale
• Trade Secrets
• Architectural Designs
The bottom line is that intellectual property carries both legal and tax implications. An attorney is the expert to engage to understand and obtain the necessary legal protection. Not all attorneys have the necessary knowledge, so if this is an important component of your business, you may want help from an attorney who understands and specializes in intellectual property law. Similarly, the tax treatment of intellectual property when a business is being bought or sold requires research to arrive at the right position and this is best provided by a CPA or similar tax professional. That is, the tax treatment for a patent may be different for a copyright which may be different for computer software etc.
The other professional help you may need is an appraised value of your intellectual property. If there is a dispute about the value of the IP it requires an expert with experience with that piece of intellectual property to prepare a report to explain and defend the value.
IP can form an enormous part of the value of a business. Like anything with value it requires protection. I recently met a business owner who lost two employees and found out they went to work with a competitor. Before these employees left the business they allegedly downloaded a full list of the customers and stole other information commercially sensitive information. They then proceeded to work at the competition and call the customers to say that the previous business where they used to work was closing down and they could provide the service. When the business owner found out what was happening he filed court papers and tried to control the damage, but in the end he was forced to sue the competitor as they did not stop the employees continuing to contact the other business.
IP requires protection and putting good systems in place to ensure it’s protected and that the protections work.
Andrew is a 5-time business owner that helps entrepreneurs exit or enter business ownership. His services include helping owners sell and/or buyers purchase an existing business or consult on purchasing a franchise. He also provides certified machinery and equipment appraisals and business valuations.
While you explore the refinancing options available to you, you might want to consider borrowing more than the amount needed to pay off your existing mortgage. You can use the extra money to make energy-efficiency home improvements that might help you save a significant amount over time. If you consider that the interest paid on your mortgage is most likely tax deductible and switching to energy efficient appliances will immediately lower your monthly bill – you might see savings sooner than you think.
What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?
An energy efficient mortgage is a type of additional mortgage that can be added to an already existing home mortgage. With this type of federally recognized loan, the borrower is eligible for unique benefits related to the purchase of an energy efficient home or energy efficiency remodeling. Benefits include eligibility for financing energy-efficiency measures as a part of your mortgage, updating your home with newer more efficient features and appliances, stretching debt-to-income qualifying ratios on additional loans, and qualifying for a larger loan. When debt-to-income ratios improve, a larger percentage of the borrower’s monthly income can be allocated to the mortgage payment. In short, that means the buyer has more borrowing power although his or her income has not changed.
How do I know if my home is energy efficient?
Before trying to gain approval for an energy-efficient mortgage, have a certified home energy rater come to your house and conduct an energy audit. The audit proves to the lender that the home has areas that could benefit from improved energy efficiency and lower the monthly power bill. The cost of improvements needed in these specific areas found to be energy inefficient can then be added to your mortgage.
The U.S. Department of Energy established guidelines for companies offering Home Energy Ratings. Rating should be in the form of a numerical score from 1 to 100. An additional rating based on a range of one to five stars may also be given as well as an estimated energy cost. A higher score indicates greater efficiency. The rater will also identify upgrades that are considered “cost effective.” These types of upgrades will save more money through energy savings than they cost to install. A Home Energy Rating conducted by a certified professional will usually cost between $100 and $300. The cost of the rating may be financed as part of the mortgage, covered by the lender, or paid for by the owner.
Am I eligible for an Energy Efficient Mortgage?
Any buyer who can qualify for a home loan can qualify for an energy efficient mortgage. Energy efficient upgrades can be done on most homes, and the loans are available to anyone regardless of location, home value, or existing utility set up. Energy efficiency mortgages can be added to government loans or conventional loans. Your lender will determine your exact benefits based on your home energy rating. In general, an energy efficient mortgage is available for older homes that qualify for upgrades as well as for homes not requiring upgrades in some cases. New construction can also qualify, check with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Alliance to Save Energy, or the Federal Citizen Information Center for more details.
Unless you’re paying cash, it is no wonder that you are searching for low interest auto loans. Getting the best auto loan rates just makes good financial sense.
However it takes a little work to find the lowest interest, simple work that most people are unwilling to do. Here are some tips to get the lowest auto loan interest rates.
1. Low Online Auto Loan Quotes
There are many banks and auto loan companies online that offer competing auto loan quotes. Because of this almost global competition online lenders are more likely to offer you the lowest interest auto loan quote in order to get your business.
Safe, secure and fast you can apply for a auto loan and get approval in minutes. Then you can compare and choose the one with the lowest interest rate. This allow you to shop for a car like a cash buyer, saving you even more.
2. Get Your Credit In Order
Your credit history will ultimately determine how low the interest rate will be on your auto loan. You should know where you stand, credit wise, before you apply for a loan not after. Get your credit report, it’s easy, and by law you are entitled to one free credit report a year or every 12 months, get it. The three main credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
3. Know Your FICO Score
This plays a big part in whether you will be approved and the interest rate of your auto loan. Your FICO scores are the credit calculations or scores many lenders use to determine your credit worthiness.
The FICO credit score range is widely accepted to be between 300 and 850, the higher the better. Raising low FICO scores not only can help you get the lowest interest auto loan but will also save you thousands on the total cost of the car.
4. Dealing With Bad Credit
It is not impossible to get a low interest auto loan with bad credit. In a perfect world you will have your bad credit erased, but as you know this can take time. Time which you may not have before you need a car.
In the case of a bad credit history a low interest car loan does not mean best low interest rate available, but lowest interest auto loan for people with bad credit.
You definitely want to have options in this case. Taking the time to research and compare auto loan quotes will pay off handsomely with a low rate auto loan with bad credit that will allow you to be able to afford that car.
In many cases low interest car loans are just a click away. If you can get your credit and FICO score high or high enough then it is just a matter of shopping for the best interest rate for a auto loan wisely. That is right, shop just like you will for a car, even if you have bad credit. Then compare a minimum of 3-4 auto loan quotes online or locally, this will enable you to find and secure the best low interest auto loans that you can afford.
So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.
Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?
One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.
An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.
There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.
Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.
Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.
Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.
What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.
Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.
Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!
Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success
Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.
All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.
Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.
Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.
Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.
Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.
Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!
Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.
It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay
So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!
An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.
While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.
There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.
Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.
However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.
Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.
Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.
If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.
Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.
With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.
Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.
No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:
· Student Loans
· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)
· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.
Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.
Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.
Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.
PURPOSE OF THE LOAN
Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.
If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.
When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.
A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.
A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.
Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.
Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:
The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan
Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.
Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.
Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar
The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.
Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.
Variety is built into your credit type
There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.
The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.
Origination fee charged by loans
Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.
Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments
Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.