All posts by mjackson

Borrowing Loan against 401(k) Plan

A tempting option too many people who are in need of a loan can be to borrow against their 401(k) plan. The reason why this is so tempting is that the money is there for your use and it is easy to get a loan from yourself. When you go to pay the money back it is like you are paying yourself back. This is a very good advantage.

There are rules to borrowing from your 401(k). The rule that is currently in effect is that you can borrow up to fifty percent of your 401(k) or up to $50,000. The smaller of the two amounts is what you will be allowed to borrow.

Before you decide that this is what you wish to do you should take into account all of the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing against our 401(k). This is a lot of money to borrow and should be borrowed wisely.

Advantages

There are several advantages to getting a loan from your 401(k). The main advantage is that you will not have to apply for and qualify for a payday advance loan because you are using your own money and borrowing from yourself. Another advantage that is in your favor is that the interest rate will be lower than a regular loan and better yet the interest that you pay will be going back into your account. Other advantages are that you will have five to ten years to pay the loan back in full and of course you will avoid penalties by taking out a loan against the 401(k) rather than taking the money out without using a loan.

Disadvantages

When borrowing against your 401(k) you will slow down the growth of your 401(k) account. Many times the loan will be repaid through your payroll deduction plan. This will lessen your amount of the paycheck that you take home every month. This might cause you to have problems meeting your monthly expenses.

A large disadvantage to having a loan against the 401(k) is that if you were to ever leave your job before the loan is paid off you will have to repay the entire balance within sixty days of your termination date or you will have to pay large taxes on the original amount of the loan.

There are many other advantages and disadvantages to taking loans for bad credit out on your 401(k) plan. Only some of these are listed in the above article. Before deciding that this is the perfect idea for your situation you should think hard and long before doing it. There are the possibilities of major tax consequences if your employment changes. This is probably the biggest disadvantage of all of them. Most financial advisors will tell you not to borrow against your 401(k) for this reason.

Borrowing against your 401(k) can be a large amount of help for someone who needs money fast and who has no other choice but this should be used as a last resort.

There are too many risks associated with this type of loan. Other loan options are available and much less risky.

A Unique Sailing Vacation suitable for Winter

People love holidaying on the sea and rather than choosing a huge cruise ship it is possible to enjoy the sea on winter sailing vacations. There are now many companies offering bareboat charters or crewed charters to allow you to get a real taste of sea life in more personal surroundings.

Winter Sailing Destinations
As the weather gets colder at home, people head for sunnier climes. Those looking for a sailing holiday can do the same too. A popular destination for winter sailing vacations is the Canary Islands. Thanks to their geographical location, these islands, with their subtropical climate, make an ideal winter getaway. In addition, with seven large islands and a number of smaller ones there are plenty of places to visit, though the waters around the Canary Islands can be challenging.

Those willing to go further afield for their winter sailing holidays can head for the Caribbean. The obvious disadvantage to the Caribbean is the distance and therefore the cost. However, once there, bareboat charters or crewed charters are numerous and readily available. Cuba, Belize and the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe offer some interesting alternatives for those looking for sailing in the winter. The charters tend to be cheaper than on some of the more well-known islands, whilst the facilities are still top notch. Waters are not notoriously difficult in this area but novice sailors are advised to charter a crewed yacht.

Crew or not?
Once you have decided on your winter destination, you need to choose your boat. If you are an experienced sailor then you can choose a bareboat charter. This is when you just hire the boat, and your crew are responsible for everything else: navigating, sailing, mooring, cleaning and cooking. Whilst it gives you immense independence, it also carries with it responsibility and it is essential that someone is an experienced sailor. Most charter companies offer a choice of boats. Consider your route and itinerary, the size of your crew and the level of experience of your crew in order to choose the best boat for your needs. Consult carefully with the charter company to help you in this.

Not everyone is a sailor nor has the money to charter a crewed boat. There is, however, an alternative. It is possible to do a bareboat charter but one that includes a skipper. The skipper will be responsible for all aspects relating to the boat and the voyage, your ‘crew’ can get involved as much or as little as they like. Skippers tend to be local to the area and know the waters extremely well. In addition, they can give good advice on which places to visit, which beaches are the best and recommend great places to eat and drink. Prices and destinations will vary depending on the size of the boat and time of year, for example.

Finally, some people feel that holidays are for relaxing and if that is your idea of a winter holiday then you could charter a crewed yacht. This of course is the most expensive option but all the logistical details are taken out of your hands. You, as the charterer, still decide your own itinerary and do what you want when you want but the crew do all the work.

A winter holiday chartering your own boat in a sunny part of the world sounds ideal whether you are an experienced sea dog or not.

Richie Duvall writes regularly on nautical holidays for a range of sailing websites and blogs.

Business Grants: Businesses Owned By Minorities, Women And Veterans Can Benefit From A Multitude Of Programs

Each business can experience its own hardship, and for those situations, there are grants available for veteran-, minority- and women-owned businesses that might otherwise fail in the start-up or that need help sustaining or expanding the business. The U.S. Small Business Administration also provides tips on starting a business, financing a business and applying for grants. As with any program, grants for minorities and women focus on a niche idea or industry, so find a federal program or local non-profit that shares similar interests with your business.

The federal government isn’t the only institution that gives to small businesses. Local and state non-profits often have funding and resource programs available for start-up companies, as well as discount programs or partnership deals. These partnerships trade resources rather than money since a small business is likely to be more financially insecure. For example, a family-owned electronics business may provide computers for a small community council. The council uses the much-needed technology while promoting the family’s business in its network and giving the family business free services or large discounts. This way, both companies see a benefit in the partnership without spending money needed for other areas of the businesses.

Grants for minorities

Many programs are available to help start or expand minority-owned businesses. A majority of the programs offer consultation, conferences and resources for a small business to become successful. Some programs also offer technology, funding and grants for minorities in specialized areas, such as businesses in underdeveloped communities or minority-owned businesses that support a community.

Women-owned business grant opportunities

Opportunities for women-owned businesses include start-up and expansion grants and resources. There are many programs for women who are seeking further educational opportunities, as well as women-owned businesses that give back to the community or focus on the family.

  • The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program provides grant funding to women who have innovative start-up ideas or who want to expand on business ideas that will benefit families.
  • Women In Defense offers resources and scholarships to working women who are attending school to advance in the defense field.
  • The SBA offers loans, educational resources and federal contracting programs to women-owned businesses. It also includes tips for writing proposals and grant applications.

Grants for businesses owned by veterans

Veterans who decide to operate their own business are continuing their service to their country. And to thank these veterans, and encourage them to succeed, local, state and federal programs are available for veteran-owned businesses.

Many grant programs do not have restrictions prohibiting women-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses from applying, so research any grant that fits the niche of your business for funding opportunities. It is important to find a variety of funding opportunities because while resources are available, it is not necessary that your company receive specific grants for minorities.

This article is written by Jon Emge who is a Senior Debt Advisor writing for a range of financial sites includingwww.bankruptcy.org.uk and www.debtconsolidationloans.org.uk

Succeed Before You Start: Business Grant Application Tips

A grant application can be the determining factor in whether you receive a business grant. Sloppy, inaccurate and incomplete applications are likely discarded immediately. Granters receives thousands of applications and they won’t waste their time tracking down submitters who did not follow directions. Think of a grant application as the embodiment of your business on paper. You want it to be as complete, accurate and unique as possible to draw granters to your business proposal.

Each grant has a specific application process that must be followed. Always read the directions provided, and if you need further instruction, contact the granter or representative provided for more information. You don’t want to ask questions just to contact the granter – that would be wasting your time and their time. Instead, formulate your questions ahead of time, look for possible answers, and if you are still unsure, then contact the granter.

Tips for a successful grant application

Successful grant applications include accurate and pertinent information about your business, the proposal, your goals and the funding required to meet those goals. While you want your business to stand out among the others, you should not lie or embellish your company’s achievements or standards. If the grant is for the betterment of your company, be honest and show how important the funding is to improving the local community through your business. You should also know everything about your company. Don’t assign as intern to complete the application process. For a successful grant application, the person applying should know the history of the business and have a clear vision for the future of the company.

You will need additional funding sources for your application and business proposal to be taken seriously. If you cannot find outside support, why would a granter want to risk their money on your business? Turn to community leaders, foundations, businesses with shared interests, universities and state agencies to request funding or form a partnership in interest of the grant.

A successful grant application goes beyond the business’s needs and looks to fulfill a need for the community, state, country or environment. If you have a viable idea, find ways to make it environmentally friendly or show how it can be used to further the evolution of technology. Federal grants are often given to those who can improve or impact commercialization.

You should consider contacting the granter at least once throughout the application process so that you can adjust your business proposal to appeal to the awarding panel. This will also ensure that your goals align with the granter’s interests and it will give you an opportunity to get to know your panel. You may also need to seek advice from outside sources. Talk to a consultant, financial adviser, accountant, industry expert or your business’s attorney as they can be viable resources in preparing your application and proposal.

Increase your chances of getting a grant

You may have found the perfect grant for your business, but don’t stop at applying for just one grant. The competition for each grant is tough and you may be turned down several times before you find a granter willing to invest in your business proposal.

This article is written by Jon Emge who is a Senior Debt Advisor writing for a range of financial sites includingwww.bankruptcy.org.uk and www.paydayloans.co.uk

Free Government Money? Believe It!

Government grants? Free government money? What? You’ve probably heard mutterings about this in the past, but it’s likely that you just don’t believe it for a second. Since when is the government giving away money, you might ask? You might also say something like, yeah, fine, the government has money to give away to people, but why should I think that applies to me? Why should I even bother?

Surprising Answers To Big Questions

You’d be surprised at the answers to a lot of those questions. You’d be surprised to know that the government is always giving away money to a fortunate few. You might also be surprised at who qualifies. Some government grants are difficult to get. Others will no doubt take aback at how easily they are to get.  It’s all a question of what you want.

And What Do You Want?

This is an important question to ask. One that requires as serious assessment of your life, goals for the present and even plans for the future. Are you looking to start a small business? Are you looking to go back to school? Is there perhaps something else you’re looking to do? You would be surprised to find out that are over nine hundred grant programs out there right now. Yes, you read that exactly right. Nine hundred grant programs are available to anyone who is willing to take advantage of them. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? It’s probably more than even your best guess. This is spread out across twenty-six agencies. You can research all of these nine hundred programs and twenty-six agencies online, and that brings us into the next aspect of government grants.

How To Find Out More

There are a number of places online to find information about government grants, and everything you would ever need to know about making the most of them. You can try any place you like, but there’s one source you must definitely use in your hunt for some of that government money. That would be over at Grants.gov. This is the official government one-stop for all programs and agencies. This site is priceless. It’s fairly easy-to-navigate, and offers all the information on not only those grants and programs but on how to apply for them. It also shows you where you need to go to apply for a specific grant. It’s a process that can be difficult and competitive. But it’s not one you have to navigate blindly. Grants.gov is obviously going to be everyone else, but it’s still the place to start. The rest is up to you, but a keen eye and a willingness to do anything will help you considerably. Using grants.gov is just the first step, and perhaps best step.

What Do You Think?

A quick look at a site like Grants.gov will open a lot of doors for you. What you do next is up to you, but you can do worse than to look into government grants as a way of making your goals happen.

This article is written by Jon Emge who is a Senior Debt Advisor writing for a range of financial sites including www.debtmanagement.co.uk and www.paydayloans.co.uk