Does Your Small Business Need a Loan?

Working capital loans

The good news is that the economic Recession is on its way out the door.

The bad news is that creditors — primarily banks — are very leery of providing small business loans because these lending options were a significant factor in the crumbling economy back in 2008.

The fact is, now small businesses have fewer options when it comes to small business lending and small business owners have had to get a little more creative than before in order to come up with enough funding for their operations.

So if you’re running a small business now, how can you get the funding you need?

One option is to visit your local bank or credit union and apply for small business loans through that financial institution — but more business owners have realized that these working capital loans for small businesses aren’t always the most efficient option when they come from banks.

Another option is to work out the problems with family and friends, borrowing what’s needed to keep your business running and paying them back on a timeline. But as everyone knows, this probably isn’t the most professional way to get a small business loan nor does it do much for your personal relationships.

A third option is to talk with the funding experts at an independent third party small business lending company. These firms are well aware of the problems that small businesses face — whether the business is 15 years old or just opened up — and they know how difficult it can be to stay financially stable.

Having a strong work ethic and business model is often a main selling point for startups looking for funding, but for small businesses that have already been operating for some time, it can get a little embarrassing to admit that you need more funding now. With a lending service, you don’t have to worry about this awkward conversation and you don’t have to worry about an uncomfortable explanation as to why your business is struggling now.

Every business has its ups and downs — should a small business suffer just because traditional lending opportunities aren’t as accessible?

Three Reasons You May Not Be Getting the Most From Your Lottery Winnings

Lottery annuity

One of life’s greatest joys, a fantasy held by many, is the idea of winning big in the lottery. How many of us have used a ‘winning the lottery’ scheme as a wistful notion for running from all our financial problems? Indeed, it seems like it would be a dream come true but the truth of what it’s like to win the lottery is far from ideal. A downside that not many people talk about are lottery payments, the concept of getting cash in structured settlement payments rather than at once in a lump sum. There is an answer in the form of selling a structured settlement, but how and why would such an option help?

1) Selling Lottery Payments Saves Money

It may not come as a huge surprise, but there are lots of ways in which a lottery winner can lose their total earnings from following by the preexisting structured settlements. For one, the lottery has to withhold about 25% for federal tax, depending on your situation and where you live, and another 6 to 9% for state taxes. This already takes out a big of your total earnings, but the practice of receiving the money in small lottery payments can lead to blowing the amount on small expenses at once rather than a potentially big, worthwhile investment like a house or college.

2) Selling Your Annuity Insures a Quicker Payoff

There are few things slower than the course of lottery payments. Mega Millions issues one immediate payment, followed by 29 annual payments that increase by 5%. While an increase is never bad, waiting 30 years for a payoff isn’t exactly the lottery winning ideal that most people fantasize about. The annuity payout schedule for Powerball follows this same 30 year pattern rather than offering a lottery lump sum payout. Even for a big amount of money, who wants to wait that long?

3) Selling Lottery Payments Is a Decision You’ll Feel Confident About

You would not be alone at all in choosing to sell off your lottery payments to get cash for annuity now, rather than waiting forever. By 2013 there were 34,800,000 individual deferred annuity contracts, the total of which exceeded $2,580,000,000 in all. It’s perhaps no surprise then that 92% of lottery winners that sell their payments end up being happy with their decision to do so. This is clearly a choice that many people in the same situation have made to their own benefit.

If you’re wanting more from your lottery winnings than what is being offered to you by the lottery itself, making the choice to sell your structured settlements might be just the answer you’re looking for.

Sell Your Lottery Annity and Get the Money You Deserve Fast!

Lottery annuity

So you won big in the lottery but don’t want to wait for your lottery annuity to pay out. By selling your lottery annuity, you can put cash directly in your pocket without having to worry if you will be getting all of your money back.

The Temptation of the Lottery
Now, more than ever are Americans struggling with finances with 64 million people (35% of the population) admitting that they had trouble paying bills or were stuck paying off medical debt as of 2014. The average American home has around 13 debit and credit cards between its members and nearly half of U.S. families spend more than they earn every year. Between 2014 and 2015 alone, student debt rose from $1.2 trillion nationally, to $1.3 trillion dollars. Between mortgages, medical expenses, and student loans, Americans end up paying an average of $950 per year. So its no wonder why millions of Americans are lining up to buy a lottery ticket for a chance at wishing the debt away with a structured settlement annuity.

What to Do if You Win?
So how does one receive lottery winnings? Typically once the right people have been alerted they will set you up with an annuity settlement that will pay out a percentage of your winnings every month for a set number of years (usually 25 years) or payments until death. The problem with this model is that no one knows how long they have and no one knows how much longer they can live with financial problems. One option you have is to sell your annuity for cash. Generally, you won’t get as much back as you would for waiting until the annuity pays out, but that is money that you could have as cash in your pocket when you need it.

The Best Way to Utilize Currency Scanners

Cheque scanners

The Best Way to Utilize Currency Scanners

Currency scanners can improve your business, while increasing the overall efficiently of you and your employees as well. Currency scanners provide cash management solutions to all businesses in a variety of industries. From banks to small businesses run by one person, if you are exchanging money on a regular basis with customers, currency scanners can greatly benefit you. Various types of high quality scanners are available to suit your needs, which include:

  • Cash Counters
  • Cheque Scanners
  • Counterfeit Detector Machines

Cash counters

If you own your own business or transfer money with day to day operations, cash counting machines allows your company to ensure 100% accuracy when money is exchanging hands. Many counting machines can count thousands of bills under a minute. This lets you to focus on the customer, or other aspects of the job.

Cheque Scanners

High quality scanners save on operating costs while making funds available in a more timely manner. The company does not have to be a bank to utilize cheque scanners on a daily basis. The scanner can be used for payments from customers or refunds on merchandise.Cheque scanners also allow you to scan and deposit cheques electronically throughout the day, so you do not have to do it all at once. No matter what type of business they are used for, the cheque scanners will save you time by not having to go to the bank to deposit money.

Counterfeit Detector Machines

Counterfeit money is everywhere, and there is no avoiding it. If your business happens to take a counterfeit bill, it can be a loss for your company. A currency-counting machine counts both stacks of banknotes or loose collections of coins, making it useful for all types of currency. A counterfeit detector machine comes with watermark detection, ultraviolet detection, and micro printing magnification. These qualities eliminate the need to inspect every bill or worry about bad money circulating in your business.

The best way to utilize cash scanners is to use it ever day in your business. Cash counters will free up your hands, cheque scanners will save you from going to the bank, and a counterfeit detector machine will protect your business assets. You will be surprised how much time you save by using high quality scanners in your business.

3 Things Businesses Can Do To Enhance Credit Card Security

Loyalty card program

With around 167 million adults owning at least one credit card, most businesses that deal with customer payments use technology that allows customers to pay via their credit card. Often, the convenience of being able to pay by credit card is highly valued by customers. This convenience does not, however, come without risk. A few years ago in 2013, 60% of organizations reported being exposed to payment fraud or unsuccessful attempts at payment fraud were made. There are several ways to minimize the inherent risks of accepting credit card payments at your business or organization. Here is a short list with some ways businesses can make credit card and payment transactions more secure for everyone involved.

#1. Strategic ATM Placement

One way to add convenience for customers is by having an ATM machine on your premises. For added security, it is important to make sure ATM placement is in an accessible and visible location. Because it is stocked with cash, it is important that professionals are securely handling the ATM placement services including armored car cash services to the funds are transported efficiently and effectively on an ongoing basis. Often, one of the perks of having an ATM from the business’s perspective is getting a percentage of the transaction costs paid by customers.

#2. Using EMV Solutions

One of the best technological advancements regarding credit card security is the creation of EMV enabled cards and devices. If businesses use an EMV device, it gives them the power to read a smart chip which is embedded into the credit card of a customer. This reduces the possibility of credit card fraud, making it a valuable asset for businesses. Another benefit is the automatic verification of payment cards so a fraudulent card will not go undetected until it’s too late. In the United States alone, 42% of people report experiencing credit card fraud sometime within the last five years. Credit card fraud is both inconvenient and costly so many businesses like to take advantage of technology that allows for enhanced security when accepting payment from credit cards.

#3. Ensuring Your Business Follows Regulations For PCI Compliance

PCI compliance regulations were designed in order to make sure businesses that process credit cards store the data appropriately and securely. Because the size of your business determines the actual PCI regulations that you will be required to follow, using PCI compliant merchant services can help make sure your business is dealing with sensitive customer information according to the regulations that are applicable to your situation. One of the vital components of PCI compliance is to make sure you are not storing any credit card data that you do not need. Secure data management and destruction will help you keep this information from falling into the wrong hands.

Do you have questions or comments about this topic? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Insurance Insights The Ins and Outs of Farmers Insurance

Health insurance

Currently there are about 2.2 million farms operating in the United States. And all of these operations require insurance.

What is Farmers Insurance?

Farmers Insurance is protection given to farmers by a company or government agency that guarantees compensation in the event of loss, damage, illness or death.

Unlike traditional insurance, farmers insurance often carries lower rates and premiums. That means lower health insurance premiums, lower car insurance rates, lower life insurance costs, etc. The original thought behind farmers insurance was that farmers deserved lower car insurance rates, because in rural areas vehicles received less use and were less likely to be in an accident. In order to be considered a farm, an establishment must produce and sell at least $1000 of agricultural products during the year.

In addition to common forms of insurance like health insurance, life insurance and car insurance, special policies including things like crop insurance can be purchased. Crop insurance protects against unexpected damage a farmer’s crops my experience as a result of things like fire or severe weather damage. Similarly, product liability insurance covers fresh produce and farm goods. This coverage provides up to $1 million per occurrence in both general and product liability coverage with no deductible and a $2 million annual aggregate limit.

Insurance statistics show that the U.S. agricultural industry is alive and well. In 2014, 1.2 million crop insurance polices were sold. These polices protected over 294 million acres containing more than 120 types of crops.

Of the 2.2 million farms in the U.S., 97% are family owned operations. Having access to affordable insurance that protects them, their property and their products proves especially important. A majority of U.S. farmers (60%) are at least 55 years old.

Farmers insurance companies may also provide long term care policies. Long term care insurance covers the cost of care not covered by health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Coverage may be used for the cost of adult daycare, private nurses, nursing homes or hospice care. For farmers approaching retirement age, specialty policies like farmers long care insurance are a great comfort.

If you’re a farmer, or planning on getting into the farming business, make sure you are properly insured. Remember, if you’re eligible, farmers insurance proves more affordable and carry lower interest rates than traditional insurance policies. And when you are designing your insurance policy, make sure you cover all of your bases. Protect yourself as well as your livelihood


Selling Lottery Payments How it can Help

Selling an annuity settlement

Selling Structured Settlements

When you win a law suit you will be set up with a structured settlement or annuity. Settlements are not hard to come by, 80 to 92% of cases settle. Typically, these structured settlements offer small payments over a long period of time, taking most of a person’s life to be paid out in full. However, by selling a structured settlement or selling an annuity settlement you can begin receiving payments in as early as 30 days with an immediate annuity. Besides earlier payments, selling your structured settlement has other money saving benefits as well. Depending on your tax bracket, a structured settlement can save you 25 to 35% on interest income on state and federal taxes.

Selling Lottery Payments

Selling lottery payments cam be very beneficial. Instead of waiting an extended period of time to start receiving cash you can begin getting payments almost immediately. The lottery annuity pays you one large immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments, increasing by 5% for each payment.If you win a lottery payment of $50 million dollars you will likely receive an initial payment of $750,000 or more, allowing future annual payments to grow to $3.1 million.

Why Sell Your Payments?

Selling lottery payments can be a little confusing to some people. You might be wondering exactly how it can benefit you to sell your structured settlements. There are many circumstances in which you may need to get settlement money now:

  • Buying a new car
  • Purchasing a home
  • Personal and family medical bills
  • Paying off student loans
  • Paying college tuition or purchasing books for college
  • Paying off credit cards
  • Going on vacation
  • Getting out of debt
  • Starting your own business
  • Investing in your future

If any of these apply to you, don’t let waiting for your lump sum hold you back. Get cash for settlements right away by selling them to specialty finance companies.


Don’t let a slow structured settlement hold you back. Whether you have settlements from lawsuits or you’re looking into selling lottery payments, a finance company will have the answers you are looking for. If it’s time for you to get a lump sum of cash now and you’re tired of waiting, then take control of your settlement and start getting your payments quickly, on your terms.

Tips for Getting Good Rates for Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial real estate property refers to property that will be used only for a business. If your company needs a loan to buy a piece of commercial property, your company will need to contact a team of commercial real estate lenders. They will let you know if your company qualifies for a commercial loan. If you are hesitant, consider getting an equity loan on your commercial property.

Use Your Commercial Equity

If you’re asking, “Can you get an equity loan on commercial property?” the answer is “Yes.” You might be seeking a line of credit on commercial property you own to make improvements to your business. Commercial real estate lenders are familiar with the guidelines about equity loans where property is used. They will talk you through the loan process and ensure you understand the terms of the loan.

Loans for a New Business

Perhaps the loan you’re seeking is intended for commercial development finance. Loans for starting a business are considered by a different standard. Whatever your purpose, when you go to a commercial real estate lender, they can explain the terms of equity loans. They’ll let you know the details about repayment.

Find a good commercial realestate mortgage broker

Many predict 2015 will be the US economy’s strongest year in quite some time, even as the global economy slows, according to the National Association of Realtors. It’s an exciting to be in real estate as prices and interest have become favorable to investors. For example, interest rates are predicted to be 3.5% for five year terms and as low as 4.5% for 20 year fixed terms. It’s profitable and with an improving market, can only get better. Commercial real estate loans are a great way finance your projects.

Commercial real estate property is property used solely for business purposes. Such properties include retail centers, apartment buildings, and office complexes. You generally finance these properties through commercial real estate loans, that is through liens on a commercial as opposed to residential property. They are also known as commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS), and are commercial backed properties as opposed to residential real estate.

However, investors who know the risks of investing in a commercial real estate market that is still somewhat volatile also recognize that securing CMBS’s has become more difficult in recent years. There are some ways to ensure the process is smoother and easier.

Firstly, know what you bring to the table, and make sure everyone involved knows the value you can add to the project and application. This is especially true when you’re looking into refinancing loans. Make sure you have the capital, the expertise and market knowledge to make your application appealing.

This may sound like a no brainer, but do make sure not to misrepresent anything in your application. If the underwriter finds it, it could potentially turn into an issue that could derail your application and get it denied. On the other hand, if you’ve already disclosed potential issues, the underwriter can find work arounds.

Lastly, know your market, and have good market knowledge. Knowing going mortgage rates, the best ways of financing commercial estate, and how to find a good commercial real estate broker are crucial. Local lenders are willing to take risks in their communities as they benefit from good investments directly. Commercial real estate loans do not come easily, so know how you best present your application and apply intelligently.

Commercial real estate banking is strong. By 2017, $1.4 trillion is expected to mature, and a fourth of of that is in CMBS’s. An estimated $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate loans are expected to mature by 2017, and a fourth of that will be in CMBS loans. Financing your commercial real estate adventures requires a little more well worth leg work. Getting commercial real estate loans can be an enormous benefit to your portfolio or business, but as these loans are more difficult to get, it’s imperative you have everything together.

What are some of your financial real estate do’s and dont’s?

The Truth About Online Checking Accounts

Mortgage brokers michigan

You watch TV online, you shop online, but do you bank online? Online checking accounts and banking features are quickly becoming popular methods of banking, for many people. We’re not talking about brick and mortar banks offering online banking features; we’re talking about truly online banking, without a physical home base to visit. Sound scary? Don’t freak out yet. Online banking actually offers a myriad of features and perks. Here’s how online banking rates can help you actually save money.

I think many people would agree that the best banks are the banks with the lowest rates, free checking accounts, and good home equity loans. While some people prefer the luxury of being able to walk into a bank, online banks are actually offering more incentives for customers than traditional banks. Surprisingly, online checking accounts are often the best banking accounts around. Here’s why:

Online banks don’t have a home base, but know their customers need cash. So, almost all online checking accounts will allow you to pull money out of any ATM and will completely reimburse you for the ATM fees. They also often charge very small amounts (if any) for online features, since that is how all of their customers will be banking.

Why do all of these small transactions matter? Well, think about your future. Most financial advisors agree that you need up to 85% of your income (pre-retirement) to sustain yourself once retired. Say you spend $5 a week in ATM or online banking fees. That’s $260 a year that your current bank is forcing you to spend. Now, say you stop at the atm three times a week. That’s $780 a year that you’re saving, that you could actually put to something worthwhile, like savings, your mortgage, or retirement.

Many online banks also allow you reduced rates on credit reporting, or sometimes, can offer you free credit services. Since less than 20% of the population has a credit score of between 800 and 850 and many people don’t know that applying for new credit can impact 10% of your score, this education and online access is extremely valuable.

Convenience, of course, is the top reason many people turn to online banking. Their bank is always open, always on call, and always within reach. An online checking account makes it easy to pay bills online, and often comes with bill assessment tools to help you better understand where your money is going and how to set long and short term savings goals. Best of all, many online accounts do not even require a minimum amount to remain within your account, and can also offer higher interest rates on savings accounts, getting you the absolute best rates around for your hard earned cash. And speaking of convenience, how about never waiting in line again to make a deposit? Most online banks make it easy to deposit cash in any ATM and allow your to deposit checks via your smart phone.

Online banking has come a long way since its origins, and with its many features and benefits, it is easy to see why more and more people are turning to online checking accounts, as opposed to old fashioned accounts.