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eyfAlthough late payments are sometimes unavoidable, you try to deal with it as best you can. You send out letters or emails, or try to contact the customer to know exactly what is going on. You even extend payment schedules and make leeway for customers who are having financial difficulties. But it cannot be denied that late payments are sometimes the consequence of a bigger issue that results in absolute non-payment.

If you have done all you can and have not received payment from a customer, what else can you do? Following is a guide to dealing with non-payment to prevent cashflow issues on your end as well. 

Before you take more stringent measures

First, before you decide to take further action, you must ascertain whether you have sent out the proper invoice. Does the invoice have the right information, such as the customer’s exact business name? Also, you have to find out whether the customer has in fact received the invoice. This is where talking to the customer becomes of prime importance. Once you have contacted them, ask them if they have any questions about the invoice. If you have been able to contact them and they promise to pay you at a later date, then you may not need to take action yet.

Send a letter to your customer

The next step when you have failed to reach your customer is to send them a letter informing them that you will be availing of your right to charge them for interest. Let them know that this interest will be 8 percent over the base rate of the Bank of England. In the letter, also state that you will be asking them for compensation for the cost of debt recovery as confirmed under the legislation for Late Payment. It would also be good to let them know that you will be considering further legal action if they still do not pay. This letter is a good way to prompt your customer to make the payment, or at least contact you.

Do not let the debt grow bigger 

Sometimes, we end up still supplying a customer even though they haven’t made any payment, simply because we do not want to lose their business. But the best thing to do for non-payment is to stop sending any more supplies to the customer until their debt is paid. If your customer values your product or service, this may get them to pay. If not, then you know that you are better off without this customer.

Check the state of the customer’s business

If you have done all of the above and have still not received payment, it would be a good time to weigh your options. Check the status of your customer’s business – is it in financial difficulty or does it look like the business will close down? If this is the case, any further steps or legal action may not be worth it. Weigh the time and effort you will be spending – as well as the cost – of further legal action against the size of the customer’s debt.

Dealing with non-paying customers is a reality for many businesses. But if you do not want these non-payments to affect your own business cashflow, you can make sure to always have available cash by taking advantage of cashflow solutions such as those provided by, where you can draw funds based on your unpaid invoices through factoring or invoice discounting.

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/

340ae2d66543453d908038e55dc2fcd7Purchasing a home for the first time is one of the most significant financial decisions you will ever make. Home loans are offered at alternate lending rates, so it is important to shop around for the right deal and options for your lifestyle and circumstances. There are three different type of home loans: fixed rate, variable or split loans.

Fixed loans

Interest rates and repayments are locked in place for a designated time period (typically between one to five years). The fixed rate is generally higher than other mortgage rates, but the certainty of the loan enables you to budget easier. This type of loan reverts to a variable rate at the end of the allocated time period. Opting for a fixed rate mortgage might mean making extra repayments isn’t possible. This loan is usually accompanied with a fee for a break free.

Variable loans

Australia’s most popular type of loan, the rates are generally lower than fixed home loan rates. The interest rate together with your repayments will vary (both rising and falling) throughout the duration of the loan. This loan usually allows you to make extra repayments as you go. The negative is that your lender may increase the loan rate at any time.

Split loans

This loan enables you to hedge your bets both ways. You fix a portion of the loan to a set rate and allow the remaining portion of the loan to fluctuate with the market. While less flexible than a fully variable rate loan, your lender with usually allow you to make extra repayments on the variable rate portion. This type of loan will benefit if interest rates go down on the variable portion of the loan. You may still be charged a break fee for the fixed rate portion.

Features offered by lenders are also key when factoring in the type of payments that will work in conjunction with your lifestyle and needs. Below are a list of mortgage features to consider:

Interest only repayments

This option allows you to pay off the interest portion of the loan only for a set period, typically one to five years. It won’t save you money in the long run because you won’t be reducing your principal loan. You will still be required to pay off the original amount you borrowed after the interest only repayment period comes to an end.

Weekly or fortnightly repayments

Some lenders allow you to make your loan repayments fortnightly or weekly as opposed to the typical monthly repayments, saving over time because interest does not have the chance to accrue over the month.

Extra repayments

Having a home loan with this feature allows you to make larger sums of repayments intermittently or regularly to pay off your mortgage faster, saving in interest payments in the long term.

It is important to find a home loan with all the features and option that suit your individual lifestyle and needs.

Its tax time. Time to file your income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service and hopefully, get a refund back from the taxes you paid throughout the year. For some families, the tax refund is the biggest windfall payment that they will receive all year. Sadly, criminals know this and will go to great lengths to steal these tax refunds before their recipients can claim them. According to the Government Accountability Office, the IRS mistakenly paid out more than $5 billion worth of refunds to identity thieves in 2013. Luckily, there are actions you can take to reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Here are some good tips that will help you keep your tax refund away from criminals.

File Quickly

One of the reasons that criminals can make off with a person’s tax refund so easily is that they file quickly, often before the person can file themselves and before the IRS has all of the documentation they need to identify fraudulent tax returns. By filing for your tax return quickly, you can beat these criminals to the punch and get your social security number into the IRS files as already filed. Any tax filing using your social security number after that will immediately be flagged as suspicious.

Take Advantage Of Electronic Options

When it comes to protecting your tax information from identity thieves, taking advantage of electronic options can be very beneficial. Elect to have all tax documents, including your W-2 and 1099s, delivered to you electronically. Instead of mailing your tax returns, file them electronically with the IRS so they will be processed faster. You can have the IRS direct deposit your refund into your bank account, eliminating the chance that your tax refund check will be stolen out of your mailbox.

Never Provide Tax Information Over The Phone

It is very unlikely that the IRS will ever contact you by email or by phone to ask you to verify tax information, so if you receive communications using these methods it is probably a scam. If you do receive an email that appears to be from the IRS or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, don’t click any links within the email and forward the message to If you get a call, hang up then call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040. If they really need information from you to process your tax refund, the operator will direct you to the right person.

With savings accounts offering very low interest rates, more and more people are turning to financial investments to help their money grow. While investing can be one of the best ways to make your money work for you, it can also be one of the riskiest ways to use your money. In order to limit the amount of risk you are taking, it is important to do your research and choose your investments wisely. Here are some basic rules for financial investments that everyone should follow.

Simplify Your Plan For Financial Investment

Many new investors make the mistake of making things overly complicated in the beginning, opening themselves up to risks that they do not understand and are not prepared for. Attempting a financial investment plan that is too complex for your current financial knowledge is a good way to lose money fast. Start slow with simple choices and modify your choices as you learn more about the art of investing.

Look For Low Fees And Expenses

The more you pay out in fees and expenses for your financial investments, the lower your rate of return on investments. Studies have shown that paying higher fees rarely results in better returns, regardless of the company. Look for the companies that are offering the lowest fees for investing when you are starting out. Some companies, such as Loyal3, offer fee-free investing for customers who are willing to abide by the company’s investing limits.

Research Easy Ways To Invest

There are many different ways available to invest in the stocks you are interested in and some of these ways are easier than others. For example, making a financial investment in index funds is considered one of the easiest ways to invest because they allow the investor to invest money in a group of stocks that represent a larger group of stocks or bonds and mirror the performance of a broader market index. They can keep track of a single index fund instead of many different companies and reduce their risk by diversifying their investments.

The way that you choose to invest will depend a lot on your personal preferences and the amount of money you are choosing to invest. Regardless of what method you choose, do your research and read current news about the companies or industries you are considering making a financial investment in. While this will not remove the risk in your decisions, it will help you make informed choices on where to invest your money.

engineeryourfinancesOne of your worst nightmares might be suddenly getting entangled in a web of financial problems and worries. When we talk of financial crisis then it is important for you to know that most individuals face or have faced an emergency at some point of their lives and therefore you are not the only one out there. This is the reason you must never lose hope and face every financial emergency in the best possible way.

With our standards of living becoming more sophisticated and prices of daily commodities becoming sky high, almost all of us are faced with a financial problem every now and then. However, facing financial problems is a common thing but when it is a financial crunch and you land yourself in the middle of nowhere, you start looking for help from here and there. And this is where most of the individuals commit the mistake. They start borrowing money from unreliable sources and as a result end up paying more than they had actually borrowed.

Always remember that when it is about borrowing money, you need to be more careful than ever. There might be many attractive offers here and there but you must never fall prey to false gimmicks. Only a planned and calculated approach will take you to your destination. It is quite obvious that at a time when you are already facing a financial problem, you would not want any other unnecessary problem to crop up from somewhere. So when it comes to borrowing money, remember to always keep yourself protected from false claims and sources of finance.

The first place we turn to when faced with a financial emergency is that of a relative’s. We always tend to trust someone whom we know when it comes to borrowing and lending money. But if your luck is not in your favor then you might find all doors actually closed for you. And it is this time when you will start spending sleepless days and nights failing to come to a solution. However, there are a lot of options available these days and if you are regular to the internet you will find that there are a large number of companies waiting to rescue you from the mishap out there.

These companies are the payday loans direct lenders and they operate as an answer to all your short term financial queries. Experts believe that taking help from these lenders are one of the best ways to bid adieu to your financial issues. However, they always warn you that you must never resort to these companies for your long term financial worries. These companies exist only to relieve you during your immediate financial worries and they also need to be paid back in time. Otherwise you might end up paying more than the fixed amount.

Therefore, no matter how difficult the situation is, now you have a friend who can help you whenever you are faced with a financial crunch and require immediate cash from a reliable source.

Even the best prepared of us can make financial mistakes that harm our finances both immediately and in the future. Many of the mistakes are made unthinkingly, with the person never realizing that they are harming their finances as much as they actually are. Fortunately, many of these mistakes are easily avoided if you are on the lookout for them. Here are some of the most harmful financial mistakes to avoid.

Delaying Saving

Delaying saving is one of the most harmful financial mistakes you can make. It is important to save money for the future if you ever want to have financial security. Savings will help you pay for unexpected expenses without having to resort to using expensive credit and accumulating debt. Surprisingly, nearly one-third of all Americans have nothing at all saved for the future. You should be saving at least 10 percent of your income for emergency funds, future needs, and retirement savings. If your current budget does not support this, you should cut your expenses and slowly raise the percentage of your income you are saving until you reach your targeted amount.

Splurging On Expensive Purchases

Today’s advertisements try to convince us that we need the latest and greatest expensive products and many people fall for the line, buying expensive electronics and clothing that are not really necessary to enhance their quality of life. All of us know that at least one person that has to have the newest smartphone, the latest fashion accessories, the latest video game system, or new video games as soon as they come out. Retailers love these people because they are paying a premium for things that have not yet demonstrated their value, but purchasing these items on a regular basis waste money that could be better used buying something that provides a better return on investment or being saved for future needs. To avoid this trap, put a strict spending limit in your budget for purchases and only replace items when they are worn out or broken.

Avoiding Insurance

Another one of the most common financial mistakes that many people make is avoiding insurance products. There are several reasons why someone may avoid paying for insurance. Some believe that it is too expensive for their budget and the money would be better spent in other ways. Others hold the mindset that they will never collect on the policy so there is no reason to purchase insurance. Unfortunately, when they discover that they actually need insurance to avoid devastating financial losses, it is usually too late. Your home, your possessions, your health, and your life should all be insured to ensure that you don’t face financial devastation when the unthinkable happens.

4b34aa6bc8a542738c9bb93307b862acOne of life’s truths is that the future cannot be predicted. We never know what’s coming next, and sometimes a curveball can cause drastic changes in our finances. When that happens, whether we want it or not, bankruptcy may be an option to consider. If you are considering bankruptcy, here are six things you should know before you file.

Online identity theft is quickly becoming one of the most common crimes today. As more monetary transactions go digital, having your credit cards stolen through ID theft becomes a life-changing experience rather than a small inconvenience. Here are 6 tips to help protect yourself from online identity theft.

  1. The easiest and most basic way to protect yourself is to monitor your online activity on a regular basis. At least once a month, take an in-depth look at your credit card statements. Look over your various transactions and take stock of anything that looks suspicious. This is also a great way to keep from spending money on frivolous items.
  2. Look into investing in an identity theft service. Although identity theft services cannot stop all types of theft, they can notify you in a much quicker fashion. Because contesting items on a credit card is most effective immediately after the theft has occurred, the sooner you know about fraudulent transactions, the better. Certain identity theft services may also have insurance programs that will help to protect your money in the instance it was stolen.
  3. Take stock of where you purchase things online. Make sure that you are only giving your credit card to accredited businesses that have certification from known encryption services.  An easy way to tell if a website is secure is to check the URL. A secure website should begin with “https” (please note the “s” at the end, which stands for secure).
  4. Try to keep the credit limits on your credit card small. Many savvy customers today will have credit cards with small limits for day-to-day purchases, saving credit cards with larger limits for in person purchases like appliances and motor vehicles. Separating your transactions in this way will help to organize your finances and give you a leg up on any fraudulent activity in your accounts.Of course, keeping up with your various credit cards can be hard, especially if you’re having trouble making ends meet. Luckily, nonprofit agencies like CreditGuard are here to help you get out of debt. They’ll actually work on your behalf to both lower your interest rates and consolidate your various debts.
  5. Make sure you have a decent password. Studies show 75% of people use the same password for all their accounts. Vary it up a little. Try not to use your birthday or any other numbers that are significant to you for your pin number. Do not use any relatives’ names or any words that are immediately significant to you for a password. Why? Because it’s becoming increasingly easier for hackers to find people’s passwords through a simple background search.
  6. Protect the technology that you make purchases on. If you use your home laptop for most of your transactions, be sure it has the latest antivirus program along with an anti-malware program that runs automatically during times of low traffic. In some cases, a hacker will be able to phish your credit card information off of your computer if it is not protected in such a way. If nothing else, be sure to run a security scan at least once to week to make sure your system is running without any bugs.

The Bottom Line

Following the tips above will certainly help to protect your credit card information from unscrupulous hackers. However, not all identity theft can be caught. The best way to handle these instances is to make sure that you’re aware of your purchasing habits and check your credit card statements often. That way the situation can be resolved as quickly as possible should it happen to you.

Wealth management is not only for the wealthy. It is for anyone at any income level that wants to build wealth for the future. Many of the people that we consider wealthy today did not start out that way. They built their wealth over many years by making smart decision and taking the time to manage their wealth carefully. Today, smartphones, tablets, and computers make wealth management simple with the creation of apps that are effective and easy to use. Here are some of the best wealth management apps that can be used by people of all income levels.


Acorn takes a novel approach to wealth management, automating it so you do not even have to think about it. It works by taking the transactions of a linked credit card or debit card, rounding up the transactions to the next dollar and investing the difference into low-cost exchange-traded funds. Fees for the service are not high. Accounts with less than $5,000 invested are charged $1 per month, while accounts that have higher balances are charged 0.25 percent a year. There are no minimum balances and no fees for withdrawing money from the account.


Betterment provides a platform that allows anyone to invest what they can when they can afford it. The investor can deposit money into their investment account at any time – when they get paid, when they receive a bonus, when they get their income tax refund, etc. Betterment charges its fees on a sliding scale. Investors that contribute at least $100 monthly will be charged a fee that equals 0.35 percent of their average annual balance. If the investor has a minimum balance of $10,000, the fee drops to 0.25 percent and those with a 100,000 minimum balance pay a fee of 0.15 percent. If the person does not invest at least $100 per month, they are charged a flat fee of $3.


Loyal3 is another good wealth management app for investing small amounts of money when you can afford it. For as little as $10, you can purchase stock in some of your favorite companies, including Amazon, 21st Century Fox, Best Buy, and Walt Disney. Your money is invested in the stocks that you choose and you can log in at any time to see the current value of your holdings. There are no fees charged for enrollment, transactions, or account transfers and there is no minimum account balance. There are upper limits on investments – $10,000 maximum per IPO and $2,500 per month for non-IPO stock.

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