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Category Archives: Finance

Debt Consolidation

Here is all you need to know about finding the ideal debt consolidation agency to suit you:

  • Third Party Payment Are you sick of having to remember all your different accounts? With a well thought out debt management solution you are able to make a single payment to the credit counselling company. This means that money is distributed to your creditors once they have paid in full. These kinds of debt consolidation agencies do not make loans on your behalf, they do not settle debt either. Rather, they have arrangements that are already set with financial institutions, usually at a lower interest rate. These lower interest rates mean that instead of finance charges, your payment goes toward the balance.
  • Quality Debt Consolidation Agencies¬†When it comes to your finances and the wellbeing of your loved ones, it is imperative that you are incredibly careful when choosing your debt consolidation agency. The agency should be well organised, send statements and payments timeously and provide excellent support and education. If you have a bad feeling about an agency – you should go with your gut!
  • Debt Counselling Debt counselling should always be done before consolidation. You need to learn how to pay for your basic living expenses before you can commit to consolidating your bills. This is why consolidation should always begin with debt counselling. Debt counselling will initially assess your entire financial situation. Once this has been worked out, and if you have any cash left over after living expenses have been deducted from your salary, consolidation will offer payment options. Counsellors are knowledgeable and compassionate and understand just how delicate the situation is for you, so don’t feel intimidated by the process, be liberated by it. If you find that your counsellor is not helpful and compassionate, request another one immediately.
  • Effective and Efficient Debt consolidation is not difficult to understand and offers great relief when done through a well-established agency. While you are on your debt consolidation plan all of your payments will remain constant. This means that you never again have to be concerned with how much to pay every month as it happens automatically. You will pay out the same amount every month until your creditors are happy. Once an account is cleared the other accounts will receive a larger sum of payments – thus, speeding up the process, taking you one step closer to financial freedom.

African Bank provides access to affordable, responsible and convenient credit to improve clients’ standard of living. At African Bank, clients have access to a flexible range of credit options tailored to meet their unique financial needs, from quick loans and credit cards to funeral plans or even help with debt consolidation . African Bank is an authorised financial services provider and a registered credit provider (NCRCP5).

The Advantages Paying Service Taxes Online

Paying your taxes is an essential part of adult life. It is the responsibility and duty of every citizen to pay his or her taxes and it is illegal to do otherwise. It is a tax levied by the government to those who provide service and are not exempt legally from paying the tax. The rate of service tax changes from country to country, and each country is free to change it from year to year as is outlined in their annual budget.

People Who Should Be Paying Service Tax

Most businesses are required to pay service tax. If you are a service provider, then you, too, are liable to pay service tax. If you provide a service and charge service tax from your customer, then you are mandated to deposit that tax with the government.

How To Pay Service Tax

Different categories of payees have to pay their service taxes at different times. Thus, the date of deposit is different if you are an individual, a proprietor or a company. Next, the required form is to be identified and filled in at a recognised bank. There is a list of banks you can pay your tax at, and if you do not pay in the recognised banks, the tax paid will not be recognised. Thus, it is imperative to identify which banks you can pay at. Failure to comply paying of your service tax leaves you open to financial and legal penalties on top of which you have to pay.

How To Pay Service Tax

There are two main options available to you. Firstly, you can do it manually. You figure out where to get the forms, identify the banks where you can pay at, double check in case you are wrong, figure out which date you have to pay by and then, finally, stand in long queues for days till you can file. The easier way is e payment of service tax.

Why Should I Pay Service Tax Online?

For one, it is much easier than doing it manually in person. Filing your taxes is just a few clicks away, and nothing is easier than that. Secondly, correcting mistakes in the form is absolutely hassle-free. When you are opting for e payment you can file more accurately as well. You can safely and securely do your calculations is a relaxed manner, leading to less mistakes on the form. The form itself is more accurate as many calculations are automated, reducing the margin for human error. The entire process is private as well, and no one but you and the computer is there to witness the form or the filing procedure. You will also have the receipt on hand, and you can choose to do your e payment of service at whatever time of night and day that you please.

A Demat Account

A demat account is a bank account which serves the purpose of holding shares electronically. It is a requisite for people buying and selling shares regularly and dealing in stock exchange and stock markets.As per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), shareholders and people dealing with more than 500 shares can’t deal in the stock markets unless they have a demat account.

Why do you need a Demat account?

A account is the best way to hold shares, just the way a bank account is for holding money. The best account is free of scams such as mutilated share certificates, postal delays, and bogus shares.

Advantages of holding a Demat account

Holding a demat account for share trading and stock exchange has various benefits. Few of those benefits are as follow:

Public shares are credited automatically and faster if you have a demat a/c. Since a demat a/c holds shares electronically, you can control your transactions through internet and email. Thus, it’s easier for you to manage shares in the long run. In case of a financial emergency, holding shares electronically in a demat accountare easy to liquidate when required. You can sell shares during the transaction hours on working days from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. The payments from selling the securities are received very fast.In case you have to change your personal details in the demat a/c you hold, the process is easy and very simple. All you have to do is inform the depository participant of the change and your work is done. You can change your registered address, signature, Dividend Mandate, registration of power of attorney, transmission etc. via this process.

How do you open a Demat Account?

Share trading mainly happens through accounts. Thus, it is imperative that shareholders and people trading in the stock markets have a account. Here are some points that one must keep in mind:

Age

A person needs to be 18 years old to be eligible to open a demat and deal in trades and shares.

Select a Depository Participant

Your depository participant can be a bank, a custodian, a broker or any financial institution that is ready to act as your agent. The best demat a/c usually has an effective depository agent who deals and transacts on behalf of the customer.

Application form

Filling out the application form for opening a demat account with a bank is just the beginning, but an important part of the process. Follow the given format and submit all the required documents with the application form.

Key points to remember while opening a demat account

It is essential to have a PAN card to have demat account

In case you don’t use your demat for a particular period of time, the bank has the right to close it.

Benefit of Owning an ATM Card

1. Easy access

All banks have their ATM machines scattered across major cities in India as well as in many towns. This allows one to access their funds easily at any point of time. One can also use their card to withdraw cash from another bank’s ATM machine however a small fee is charged. ATM machines also allow individuals to make their credit card payments with ease. An ATM card in India makes withdrawing money easy as well as providing the account holder with details about the remaining amount present in their account.

2. Safe

Using cards in India is an extremely safe option for account holders to use. As long as one does not disclose their card’s pin number, no one can access their funds. The ATM machine also has surveillance which ensures that suspicious activity is recorded. If you lose your ATM card, you can simply block it by calling the bank.

3. Convenient

Using an card is an easy way to access one’s funds. There are no middle men and one simply has to enter their pin code into the machine and type the amount of money they wish to withdraw. There are countless machines present all over the city which allow one to withdraw money from any part of the city.

4. Time saving

ATM cards in India make it unnecessary for the account holder to visit the bank each time. One does not always have to carry a lot of cash everywhere they go. They can simply go to Machine to withdraw the amount they require in a matter of minutes.

The cards are extremely beneficial for individuals today who do not have the time to constantly visit the bank to withdraw their money. One can make payments, check their account balance and withdraw sums of money with ease.

Real Estate Investment Categories

Leasing a property, after all, is a great way to add to your income and increase your assets; perhaps, a good form of wealth management for sure. Whether or not real investors consider using LLC, — a legal structure that protects you from certain losses that may otherwise happen in real estate investments — they would be investing in any one of these categories.

Multi-Family Residential Investment

Investing in residential real estate means acquiring properties such as apartment buildings, houses, vacation houses, townhouses and more, where a person or family pays rent for using your property. Leasing involves formulating a lease or rental agreement, which determines your tenant’s duration in the property. In comparison to other real estate investments, this is the most stable, as people always need a house to live in.

Commercial Investment

When people invest in commercial real estate, they mostly purchase office buildings. You might have seen many people constructing small buildings that have multiple offices. These properties are, usually, leased out to companies and other small business owners who pay rent just the way a tenant pays for rent for using a residential property. Owing to high operating costs involved, though, losing a tenant may substantially impact your ROI when investing in commercial real estate. Still, this category remains the choice of many real estate investors these days, as such properties are, usually, in downtown areas and generate good revenues.

Retail Investment

All the big shopping plazas, complexes, malls and retail front stores that you see around are examples of retail estate properties. The only difference is that these properties are used not for people, but for commodities and other services. In many cases, investing in a retail real estate also gives you the opportunity to receive a percentage of sales other than the rent your tenant pays you every month. Prominent supermarkets such as Wal-Mart — much in use and demand — are ‘anchors’ that lure more investors in the retail real estate. Various factors that drive this sector, however, include the property’s location, nearby population density, and visibility, among others.

Industrial Investment

Investing in industrial real estate is one of the best ways to optimize your investments, as it, generally, brings along with it a lot of revenue in the name of “fee” and “services”. Industrial real estate investment includes car washes, storage units and more. Properties falling under this category may be used for a variety of purposes such as manufacturing, warehousing, researching, distribution and development.

Investment Options For NRI

Post 2000 A.D, taxation policies have become favorable for NRI investment in India. Provisions are being made to favour investments from NRIs, but the only drawback is, unlike resident Indians, they can’t invest in just any type of instrument they desire to.

If An NRI Wants To Invest In India, They Must Choose Between One Of Three Kinds Of Savings Accounts:

Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account (Nre Account):Should be in INR. NRI’s can keep their earnings and savings managed in their country of residence in INR in this account. There is no income tax generated on such accounts.

Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account (Nro Account): Should be in INR. In this account, NRI’s can keep any sort of income through rent, dividends, etc. in this account. Income tax is generated on such accounts.

Foreign Currency Non Resident (Bank) Account- Fcnr (B) Account: Can be in any defined currency, used for keeping fixed deposits (in FCY) for a period of up to five years or less. There is no income tax generated on such accounts.

While Choosing From A Host Of Options For NRI Investment In India, It Is Important To Remember To A Couple Of Points:

Choose an investment that can be repatriated should an emergency arise in his country of residence.Ensure tax avoidance.The country of residence could have certain prohibitions on different instruments. For instance, in the US, there is a restriction that only funds registered in the US Securities market can accept a US based NRI’s money.

Keeping In Mind The Above Factors, Below Are Investment Options For An NRI

NRE Fixed Deposits

These can easily be repatriated and any income from interest on these deposits in tax exempted. They are flexible and can be broken easily and transferred the NRE Savings account to be repatriated as and when needed.

Government Securities And Bonds

Such investments can be purchased with a lock-in period of at least three years. Should these investments be made from the FCNR/NRE account of the NRI, the sale proceeds on sale of these instruments would be credited to the same accounts so that the proceeds could be repatriated if needed.

1. Mutual Funds

These investments can be made only from the NRE/NRO/FCNR account of the NRI. Another way is through “inward remittance”. Should the NRI seek to repatriate the earnings or money invested in mutual funds, a lock-in period of three years would be needed.

2. Nro Fixed Deposits

Another option for NRI investmest in India is to invest in NRO fixed deposits. But it would be illogical to do so because such FDs carry the same interest rates as NRE accounts, and while the latter is tax free, income tax is generated on NRO accounts.

3. Equity Market.

Shares can either be purchased directly or through equity based mutual funds. This can be done through the NRI/NRE account of India.

Use Investments to meet Financial Goals

If you are planning to invest money, you are probably aiming to increase your wealth and put your savings to better use. After all, what is the point of simply leaving your cash in a savings account that offers you an incredibly low interest rate? Before making the decision to enter the world of investments, you need to know where to invest, as well as how to invest your money.

Where and how to invest

Generally, there are three different types of investments, namely ownership investments, cash equivalents and lending investments.

In terms of risk, ownership investments are probably higher up on the scale; however, these are the investments that tend to yield the best returns. They include investing in stocks, businesses, real estate and valuable objects. 1 When you invest money in stocks, you own a part of a business and thus share in its successes – or in its losses. When you invest in real estate, it all depends on the state of the market when you wish to sell again. The state of the market, along with the overall condition of the property, will determine whether you will make a profit or a loss. Investing in real estate is actually quite an art, which is why so many people look to brokers and realtors for assistance. Lastly, when you invest in valuable objects, such as cars and gold, you need to keep in mind that the market, once again, is unstable and that the objects will depreciate in value over time.

Lending investments include your savings account as well as any bonds that you might have. Bonds are fixed income securities and refer to the process of ‘lending’ your money to businesses or to the government for a specific time period in exchange for a set interest rate. 2 The longer that you choose to lend out your money, the higher the interest rate will be. The amount that you invest will also have an impact on the interest rate that you will receive. These investments are low risk; however, they do not present you with the opportunity to enjoy large financial gains similar to that of ownership investments. Despite this fact, they are definitely good choices for all investors as they are very easy to manage.

Cash equivalent investments are easy to convert back into cash, making them the ideal choice for those who are looking to invest but who don’t want to lose control or access to their finances in the process. Money market funds are a good example of this type of investment. The returns are small, but the risks of experiencing any losses are low.

Before making any decisions about your savings and investments, it is always wise to consult with someone who has a lot of experience in the field, or with a professional who can appropriately advise you. The real key to reaching your financial goals through investments lies in your ability to plan ahead and make smart, long term decisions with regard to your funds. Happy saving!

Benefits of a Good Credit Score

Lower Interest Rates

When you first provide your information for your credit card application, your respective bank will offer you an interest rate that is based on previous credit scores. Interest rates are one of the factors that influence your monthly repayments and a bad credit score can result in hefty rates which contribute to an even larger monthly repayment. However, a good credit score can encourage your bank to offer you lower interest rates on your monthly repayments. Not only will this eliminate the added pressure of an extra fee, but it will also assist you in ensuring the timely repayment of any debt.

Higher Chance of Loan Approval

There comes a time when everyone aspires to own their own home, send their children to university or pay for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. There are few people who can afford to turn these dreams into a reality without financial assistance. However, for the rest of us, with the help of a personal or home loan, these dreams and aspirations are quite plausible. A good credit score will yield a higher chance of loan approval while a negative score leads the bank to believe that you’re not reliable. Keep your future in mind and opt to pay off your credit card debt.

Approval on Higher Credit Limits

Did you know that your borrowing capacity is based on your income as well as on your ability to repay debt that is owed to your financial service provider? If you are able to repay your credit card debt in a timely manner, it is possible that your bank will increase your credit limit. It is important to treat this increase as an appointed fund for emergencies or ‘rainy days’. Otherwise, you might just get yourself into a trap and erase your existing credit score.

Understanding the importance of a good credit score can motivate you to pay off your credit card debt and aim for a positive score that can one day assist in making your dreams come true.

Choose a Small Business Accountant

Whether you are new in business, or your current enterprise is expanding to the next level, chances are that at some point you will be on the look out for accounting firms that will be able to assist you with your financial questions and be able to help you deal with obligations such as payroll and taxation.

When choosing an accountant to work with, it pays to bear a number of things in mind before you make a final decision. These can ensure that your business’s needs are fully met and that a great deal of the stress related to financial aspects of running a business is alleviated.

Firstly, it is important to ask yourself if location is significant to you. It may be crucial for you to be able to choose from accounting firms in your local area in order to be able to have face-to-face contact with your accountant. However, there are now a number of other options available.

Thanks to the internet, there are growing numbers of highly professional accounting firms who operate online, utilisingcloud-based technology to collaborate with their clients. This can expand the number of possibilitiesavailable to you, and you may be able to find a non-local service that is tailored both to your type of businessand your budget.

Next, make sure that the professionals working for your shortlist of accounting firms are fully qualified in their field of expertise. Many people can claim to be accountancy experts but can lack the necessary certification. If necessary, ask for visual proof of any qualification, and verify what the actual title bestowed by any certificate means in the way of training undertaken and areas studied.

It is also worth asking for client references, including testimonials from those who have a business of a similar size or structure as yours. Happy customers will not hesitate to share their positive reviews of a service, so if accounting firms can provide these then you are well on your way to finding a match.

If you are a small business, it helps to remember that there are many accounting firms that specialize in assistingenterprises such as yours. These firms will be more able to advise you on thefinancial issues thataffect small and medium business than accountants that normally only deal with big business.

Seeking out an accounting specialist for small business is likely to be the right choice if your business falls into this category. However, this does not mean that all small business accounting firms are guaranteed to be right for you.

When choosing you accountant, consider their approach to delivering their service. Do they welcome urgent telephone enquiries throughout the working day at no extra fee? Or do they prefer to deal with you by email and respond within a set timeframe?

Although often overlooked by people considering different hiring accounting firms, the methods of communication available are important, and should ideally be suited to your own preferred contact method so you are able to get all questions answered in a way that matches your needs and requirements.

Last but not least, look at the fees that your chosen accounting firms charge. Your budget is an important consideration and it isessential to check if the firm intends to charge you for those ‘little extras’ such as the emergency telephone calls mentioned earlier. Look for a firm that offer all-inclusive packages for a fixed price, or one that can give you a quote for a tailored service.

These are just are just some of the factors that are important to consider before hiring from any number of accounting firms in your local area or online. Ultimately, a deep understanding of your own needs and those of your business will equip you with the knowledge to recognise the perfect match for you when it comes to choosing an accountant.

Different Types of Secured Loans

At times, you will be in an emergency wherein you will require a large amount of financial aid. In such an even, you can apply for a loan. You can either apply for a secured or a non-secured loan. Between these two options, the secured loans will provide you with the ideal rates, better repayment options and even a short application process which is required during an emergency. Additionally, since you are providing collateral, you can negotiate for a better principal amount. Some of these secured loans include the loan against gold items, securities or even property. Here we will give you information about each option.

Gold Loan

Loan against gold is one of the most favourable options when it comes to the secured loans. This is due to the fact that many individuals, especially in the country believe in investing in gold for economic and cultural aspects. Many families invest in gold jewellery, coins, bars or even other items for various auspicious or special occasions. During a financial emergency, an individual can easily apply for a gold loan just by exchanging these gold items. One of the major benefits of this account is that, the application process is short. Once these items are verified and the value of the gold confirmed, this will be provided at most of 85% of the confirmed value. It additionally comes with beneficial interest rates and easy repayment tenure.

Loan Against Securities

Like the loan against gold, loan against securities is another option during any financial emergency. You can consider this option if you have invested in shares or stocks in beneficial options, which you can afford to liquidate during an emergency. Additionally, if you can repay the amount in the given repayment tenure, you can easily opt for this option. The amount you can get from the securities and stock depends on the valuation, margin allowed by the bank and your past credit history. You can get at most 70% of the value of pledges you have invested in the bank. Once you pledge your shares with the bank, you will be issued a current account The advantage of the loan against shares is that you will be charged interest only on the amount you withdraw from the account. Additionally, you will be charged for the duration of the time the funds are utilized.

Loan Against Property

Like the gold loan and loan against security, the loan against property is another option for a secured loan. In this option, the borrower will provide his home as a form of security. However, the ownership of the property is still under the borrower until he can repay the lamount. If you have all the necessary papers and insurance for this option, you can easily apply for a loan and get an amount of at most 80% of the value of the house.