The Blog Of TL Wall Accounting

5 Reasons You Might Need An Accountant

Because we’re an accounting firm, you might think this post is more self serving that helpful, but we assure you that our intentions are good. We’ve worked with a lot of people who did their own taxes and budgets and sometimes had some costly mistakes. It’s not as easy as it sounds to keep up with your own records, especially if your career isn’t in finance.

hire an accountant
rawpixel via Pixabay

Because of that, and a few other things, we want to give 5 reasons why you might need an accountant. There are more, but we don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Let’s get started.
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5 Considerations To Have Before Taking Out A Loan

Having credit is crucial to getting pretty much anything of substance in the world. Even rich people don’t like spending their own money for things outright. The ability to get a loan to take care of things or to have things is a nice benefit.

financial credit
DigitalMarketingAgency via Pixabay

Most people go into the loan process with one overriding fear; the ability to pay it back. It’s a valid fear and a major consideration but it’s not the only thing to consider when it comes to applying for a loan. There are many factors both before and after that people should consider before pushing forward. Here are 5 of those considerations:

1. What does your credit history look like?

It should be a given that no one tries to get a loan if they don’t need the money, but that’s not good enough for many financial institutions. This isn’t about credit scores as much as how your history profile looks when it comes to your finances… and even if you have one. Banks don’t expect students to have much of a credit profile when they’re trying to get a loan but they will take a good look at their parents to see how what their spending profile looks like.

Sometimes not having a credit profile is as bad as having a bad one. You won’t necessarily be turned down, but your interest rate might not be as good as you hope it might be. It’s an unfair disparity, but without information on a potential debtor those who loan money are cautious.

2. Know something about how interest rates work.

We went through a period in the last decade where the housing industry was horrible. Most people in certain states took out loans with floating interest rates that had no ceiling on them. When things were going well they might have had interest rates around 3 or 4% that worked like a charm. But when the economy got rough some people suddenly had interest rates as high as 25%. There aren’t many people who could afford an increase that high and that quickly for a monthly mortgage.

Before you sign anything, you need to know if your interest rate is fixed, what the rate is, if there are penalties for paying off your loan early and how you can find out what your payment amount would be if you wanted to pay it off sooner. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a house, car, smartphone, credit card or anything else. You need to know what your financial responsibilities will be if you’re approved, which means you might need to delve deep into the fine print.

3. You need to have some kind of idea of what your credit score might be.

Most lenders aren’t giving you a dime without seeing what your credit score is, moreso than your credit report. Unfortunately, you can’t just look at one company and think you’re doing well; it’s something the federal government’s been trying to stabilize since the major 3 credit reporting agencies never seem to agree. You’re going to want to be cautious in checking out all 3 of the major credit companies to see where you stand; you might have to pay something to find out what it is for all of them. Just remember that you get a free credit report once a year from Annual Credit Report.

4. There’s going to be a lot of paperwork.

If you think buying a car or going to the hospital involves a lot of paperwork, you’d better get your mind prepared for all the paper you’re going to see and sign when trying to get a loan of any kind. There are regulations and protections and information you need to know and information you need to be ready to give up and fees and disclosures… on and on. It got much worse after 9/11; the federal government wants to make sure everything you indicate can be tracked.

For some loans, you’re going to need the services of a lawyer because even if you’re one of the smartest people in the world, you don’t know everything. If you’re looking to buy a house, you’d better have someone with that knowledge watching your back. By the way, some of this paperwork protects you as well because if you negotiate terms and it’s on paper with signatures, it has to be honored by both parties.

Also, a recommendation; verify your lawyer’s connection to the people who might be granting the loan so make sure they have your best interests in mind instead of the people you’re trying to get the loan from. If you have to get your own lawyer, it might be worth the money to pay for it.

5. Be smart and safe with all information you have, no matter where it is.

To say there’s no privacy anymore seems to be a wasted effort, but if you want a loan and it’s substantial you need to know that while you’re being reviewed it could go beyond your credit history and credit score.

If you have a Facebook page and you’re bragging about the new Maserati you just bought and you’re trying to get a college loan, that could be held against you. If you brag too much on social media about anything that either makes you look like someone who may not be able to pay your bills or is reckless with money, or even if they view you as potentially irresponsible because you or someone else has put up pictures of you carrying on a nefarious nightlife, you can be turned down, and they don’t have to say anything more than they see you as a credit risk. Character can be a major reason for being turned down for a loan.

None of the five considerations above is meant to scare anyone off from applying for a loan. Getting a loan is a big responsibility, no matter how much it is. Banks have learned many lessons on how to better determine someone’s credit worthiness. Make sure you know your own level of financial worthiness and how to protect yourself.
 

5 Financial Issues To Check Before Leaving Town

A few years ago I went to Florida for a convention. I’d like to say that I had fun all the while I was there but that wouldn’t be the case. The distress came from monetary issues I had that I wasn’t expecting. Planning time away does take thought, but there are things we don’t always do because we expect it’s been taken care of.

monetary vacation planning
Foundry via Pixabay

With my problems still in my mind I thought I’d put out these tips in case they’re things you haven’t thought of on your own.

1. Verify, Verify, Verify.

I had a travel agent help me with part of my planning since I couldn’t find a direct flight to my location on my own. She also helped me book my car rental. When I arrived at my destination, even though I had an invoice saying there was zero balance, it turned out that what I thought had been paid was only a holding fee. Thus, there was almost $250 out of my pocket I hadn’t planned for.

2. Car rental holding fees.

While we’re at it, I gave the car rental place my business banking card, expecting them to charge is as a credit card. Instead, they treat those as debit cards, which means they take out an extra deposit for almost the amount that your charges will be.

Lucky for me, I got to the hotel to check my bank balances, saw they’d throw me into a overage, and was able to move money from my personal account to cover it all. When I called the company to complain about it I asked why I wasn’t told about this fee and the woman said I should have been told. That didn’t help me much, but luckily the hold was released the next day.

3. Plane reservations aren’t always enough.

I had purchased my flight and tickets at least 2 months ahead, but it turns out all I paid for was the reservation and not the tickets. Therefore, I had to have my seats assigned when I got to the airport.

Heading down was no problem but I almost didn’t get home on the same day because I was told seating was overbooked. Seems that you’re only guaranteed a ticket if you buy it off the airline’s own site. Also, they were offering $100 upgrades to first class but only to those who’d purchased tickets at their site; that would have been sweet.

4. Find out of there’s a grocery store close to your location.

Because I suddenly thought my money situation was in some jeopardy I decided to find a grocery store so I could buy some things there instead of purchasing them from the hotel (for instance, I bought a bottle of water and a small Snickers bar that cost me $6 at the hotel).

I got lucky in having the grocery store in the mall right next to my hotel, but not everyone ends up with that kind of luck. Even if you buy more than you need, it’ll cost way less in the long run, and if you have a refrigerator in your room like I did, even better.

5. However much money you’re thinking about taking, if it’s not at least $500 you’re not planning well enough.

I don’t always like traveling with a lot of money on me, knowing I can access ATMs along the way. However, bank fees can add up, and if you have the possibility of running into some of the problems I did, and you always do, it’s nice to have more money on you than you thought you needed.

I spent way more money my first day than I had planned for, but it was a stressful day. Money management was much better after that, especially once the car rental place released the hold on my bank money, but it would have been a more carefree day if I’d started out with more money on hand; money really does bring peace of mind.
 

5 Reasons The Rich Aren’t Like The Rest Of Us

There are times when you see something and know immediately that it’s not going to trend well. When you look at politics, often you can tell the moment someone has lost the election, even if they don’t know it, by a goofy action. For Michael Dukakis in 1988, it was the way he answered the question about what he’d do if his daughter was raped. In 1992, it was when George Bush walked into a grocery store and was shocked by scanning technology of groceries, something everyone else had seen for years.


by Chris Samuel via Flickr

People like to talk about class wars in this country all the time. It’s very common to use the term in politics when parties are going against each other.
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5 Financial Things You Need In Your Life

There’s no doubt that financially many people are hurting. It takes planning and responsibility to be on a safe financial footing. There are a few things everyone needs at least one of that are related to the betterment of one’s financial life. If you’re without any of these items you’re going to have difficulties somewhere along the line. Here are 5 things you need and the explanations why, even if a few of them you might not want to think about.

SM-Handcrafted Oak Chateau [View]
Boa-Franc via Compfight

1. Bank account.
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