If you are looking for a bank account that deals with you more fairly, that gives you a credit card that doesn’t do things to your pocketbook behind your back, that makes car loans and home loans possible that don’t leave you poorer than you once were, there’s a good chance that there is a credit union out there for you. So far, not every credit union has open to every person. Certainly, bank accounts with credit unions are wonderful; but look at the very name of the place – a union is kind of exclusive – they need you to become a member, and they don’t always publish information about their criteria.

All that is beginning to change now; some of the biggest credit unions out there are beginning to open their doors to one and all – for bank accounts, for financial services, for home loans. And regular banks, that must deal with bigger overheads, with income taxes and such, find themselves in an unequal battle with credit unions that are nonprofit, and have a much easier time with the tax authorities. So the rich banks have a tough situation on their hands; you the consumer though, have nothing to do but to celebrate.

How is it that credit unions began to get those tax breaks from the government in the first place that they are able to pass on to you in the form of fair-priced bank accounts and credit cards? They started out as a kind …

Economic times are definitely tough now. However, if you have a little extra cash, there’s never been a better time to invest than when things are down. Any investment guide will tell you that now is the time to invest; some stocks and real estate won’t be this cheap again. That said, there’s plenty of risk involved as banks continue to fail and corporations file for bankruptcy. You don’t need an broker or financial services. The best investment guide is a little common sense and a little discipline.

The first step to any good investment guide is to make sure that you’re paying off your debts first. In almost all cases, the interest rates on credit cards and some loans are higher than the potential return on your investments. There are some exceptions – monthly payments on mortgages and car loans can be paid at the minimum, and never pay more than the minimum on student loans, usually the most favorable interest rate you’ll have. On the flip side, it’s unlikely that you’ll find the next Google. Possible, but unlikely. Don’t plan on it, and besides, if you DO find it, you won’t need another investment guide or worry about what debts to pay off when.

The next step is to have a ‘cushion’. The FDIC will insure any CD or savings account in a FDIC-insured bank for the amount of $250,000. This money will return a modest amount, usually around 4% annually. This money is your lifeboat. There’s no …

The federal government is taking all-new interest in jump-starting small businesses in this country, a sector it calls the engine of the economy. In many places, private banks and other lenders are beginning to trust small businesses a little bit more , and small business lending is up. Where is all the small business lending coming from now? Mostly, they are coming from community development financial institutions – a fancy term for credit unions, nonprofit banks, venture capitalists and other kinds of lenders. For businesses in rural areas or in small towns that don’t really have a proper banking network, these are everything they have.

Small business lending from these sources is holding the sky up as far as business owners are concerned; traditional banks and other places are still waiting it out. And institutions that seem ready to take on risky small business lending are seeing much higher levels of demand than they could ever handle. It’s just that these incidental lending sources happen to be, let’s say, more flexible. If you went to a bank, and all you had to put down as your collateral was a truck owned by your business, they wouldn’t really accept it. Not so with these new sources. The interest rates they charge are higher than 13% though. And what is more, when you get a loan from a nonprofit lender, they throw in some free business advice with training workshops and conferences to help new businessmen find their feet. With most lenders …

If, like many people, you are feeling the strain of carrying heavy debts, then it might be tempting to consider filing for bankruptcy. After all, with one simple process, your debt problems could go away forever. Of course, you will probably have to figure with a bankruptcy on your credit, but that may seem like a small price to pay when you have the ability to get out of debt fast. But is bankrupcy always the easy solution?

If you are trying to figure out whether it is better to work your debt down with the help of a debt relief company or file for bankruptcy, then here are some things you should consider.

First, the Good and the Bad of Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy obviously has one huge benefit; that you will no longer owe anything to your creditors, as long as the bankruptcy is executed correctly. You simply walk away from your financial worries, and what could be easier than that?

When you have a debt settlement, you will still be responsible to make a payment every month to the debt management company, and you will still be in debt until the payments have been completed.

But when you go through a bankruptcy, you will automatically lower your credit score by at least 200-250 points, meaning that your odds of getting approved for a loan after a bankruptcy will decrease tremendously.
Sure, you might not feel like you need that credit now, but what if your car stops working tomorrow, what if you get sick …

Many pubs, restaurants and hotels are now tapping in to the lucrative business of hosting seminars and conferences, and for those who get it right it can be big business. Whether it’s for meetings, hosting exams or giving talks, hosting a successful event at a venue such as a hotel can not only bring in instant revenue but can also provide a unique opportunity to showcase your business.

It used to be the case that hotels benefitted from nearby conferences in bespoke conference venues such as 99 City Road, providing the accommodation for delegates who have travelled to the event. More recently hotels have branched out and provided a venue for corporate events internally, cutting out the middle man and using their facilities to both host the event and provide accommodation.

It doesn’t even have to be a large scale event like a conference, morning seminars and talks can provide the venue with an opportunity to not only charge for hosting the event but also showcase their facilities to many other businesses that might be looking for a conference venue at some point in the future.

If you decide to go into event hosting then using the events you host to market to the delegates who attend can be a crucial way of getting future business. There’s no better advert for your business than personal experience, so impressing the delegates who attend and leaving them with a good impression of your venue can be a hugely effective way of

Though the technology surrounding remote IT support has advanced rapidly over the last two years and is continuing to do so, many businesses still stay undecided in the great debate regarding the subject of onsite versus remote IT support.  While remote IT support will not be perfect for every company there are some benefits and pitfalls that business owners should be aware of, especially when the support is provided by a specialist IT support company.

First on one hand is the efficacy of delivering such services. Remote IT is fantastic for making minor daily issues a thing of the past and making them easy to fix if they do happen to occur.  Whereas in years gone bye employees would have to wait for somebody in the IT department to address their computer difficulties, IT professionals are now able to take charge of a desktop in anywhere and see exactly what websites the employee is visiting and get to work repairing the issue.

A wll run remote IT service can be extremely cost-effective.  Hiring an IT firm to provide your organization with remote IT support negates the need to employ an onsite technician or full-time employee.   When a company hires a firm for remote IT service they are paying exclusively for the support and nothing else and, as you can imagine, that is very good news for all businesses.  Not surprisingly, remote IT support also enables those working within a specific, and often highly specialised field to get straight on top of a problem and fix …

Its a question that many of our clients ask us these days so, in this post we are going to explore some of the options available to startup e-entrepreneurs when it comes to the most important aspect of e-business – actually getting paid.

 E-commerce has come to be accepted as a way of doing business. However, it is still relatively a new technological evolution and this is evident by way online payments are made. Online credit card payments for example, is still exceptionally difficult and beyond the technical expertise of most online merchants. Most of these merchants instead, relay on other online credit card payments options such as hiring an authorized online merchant to act as a go-between. This is clearly understandable when you consider the complexities of handling online credit cards and the level of security that must be maintained at all times.

Ideally, an online transaction is a real-time transaction that is carried out online. This is very different from batch processing where transactions are “kept aside” so to speak and wait processing later. As you can see, this can result in problems, among which would be authorizing a transaction even when the funds are insufficient or not available. Online credit card payments thus offer a more superior way of conducting business since it offers a less error-prone system in addition to no wasted time and expense in the process.

Unfortunately service providers and third-party processing come at a fee and in some cases, it can bite off …