Acquiring and Financing a Semi Truck, Big Rig and Over the Road Truck

In today’s economy, start up and seasoned businesses have an unique opportunity to acquire an attractive deal for semi trucks, big rigs and over the road trucks. The first option, for the buyer, is to visit their local dealer and find his truck there. This is great place to start and obtain pertinent information that will be used later in the data gathering process. From there, it is recommended searching the internet and its mass volume of data that is available. The potential buyer can visit such sites as truck paper and truck trader etc to view thousands of listings of trucks available across the United States. He is able to sort and sift through this vast data and should be able to find a truck, in any city and/or state across the U.S, that meets his acquisition requirements. Once he has located a source of trucks available to him, he is able to contact these sellers and negotiate a deal that might be able to meet his needs. Once he is agreed to a price and its particulars, his next hurdle is to find adequate financing in today’s complex lending world of this commodity.

Today, the financing arena for semi trucks has become much smaller. Lenders, in the past, that use to finance this niche market have either pulled their portfolio funds out of this area or have modified its’ lending requirements. It is not unheard of today that a start up business must commit to a down payment of between 10% – 30% of the acquisition cost of the truck to enter this market. The seasoned business with good credit might be able to get in as little as one payment down plus documents fees but must have either A or B Credit. Other seasoned businesses that don’t meet these credit requirements, may be required to put up 10-20% down or either put up additional collateral as their credit scores fall below 600. Most buyers don’t enjoy these tightening financial requirements, are locked out of this market, and will start looking for alternatives that are available due to market conditions. In addition to the market requirements of substantial monies due upfront, the conventional lender has modified his risk/reward factor for the failure and possible repossession of these trucks. Therefore, the rate and/or interest factor that the lender charges has gone up making it a bigger challenge to complete the financing end once the want to be buyer locates his acquisition….

As the economy has weakened due to market conditions, including diesel gas reaching $5.00 or more per gallon in certain states, the route of conventional financing has changed as we know it. The lender has acquired another problem that makes their equation a little more complicated. In the past year as the price of food has gone up, the real estate markets have taken a toll for the worse and other world factors have caused the banks to be more unstable, the trucking industry has become more volatile. As the increase of defaults on the payments of over the road trucks, semis etc have risen to all time highs, the lenders have been taking back these trucks by the droves that are earmarked as repossessions. This has caused a problem with normal lending practices and trying to balance it with a non producing income portfolio. If these lenders don’t act swiftly and prudently, the combination of these two type of portfolios can be devastating to the lenders’ bottom line. A third factor to consider is the off lease truck. These trucks are being returned to the lender and they must act accordingly with this third factor.

By definition, an off lease semi truck, over the road truck, big rig etc has been returned to the lender as the lease has expired. The lessee has made a decision to return the item in lieu of exercising the buyout option. A repossession is different than an off lease because it has arisen due to a default of the lessee for non payment terms or a violation of the terms of the lease. Either way, the lender has taken these trucks back and/and now must recondition these trucks and either sell these trucks or re-lease them.

The lender can either advertise their off lease and repo inventories through their internal sales force, trade journals such as truck paper, truck trader etc or utilize outside professionals such as brokers to move their inventories as quick as possible. Sometimes, as these inventories either sit or whatever reasons aren’t moving, the lender will put these items up for auction.

At the present time, the lenders have two different types of financing portfolios to consider and must act accordingly. Normal lending on new business deals still require stringent lending practices based upon the credit markets and the risk/reward factors lenders perceive out there in the financial markets. The second type of portfolio, for the off lease and repos, require possibility a more lenient approach to liquidating their inventories prudently and recreating the income stream for the lenders. This will be discussed below.

Today, some of the lenders in the financial market have advertised personal credit qualifications as low as 575, prior bankruptcy rules amended or ignored, and start up businesses welcome. Additionally, the front money to commence a lease can start as low as first payment only to whatever you might able to negotiate. Some of the lenders have application only programs up to $250,000. There are no financial statements, income tax returns or bank statements required. Additionally, some lenders may defer some of payments to get the semi trucks financed. The buyout clauses on these over the road trucks can range from a $1.00 buyout to 10% to 20%, Trac leases to possible fair market value buyouts. One should understand these clauses because they have an impact on the passing of title.

These favorable financial arrangements by the lender has stimulated the buyers wants and needs to either enter the trucking industry as an owner operator and/or possibility an expansion of a existing business. First Time buyers, whom were locked out of this market in the past, now has an unique opportunity to earn more revenue by acquiring a truck for himself. A $50,000 over the road truck might require as little as $1400 down to commence the financial obligation. Other lenders that might have required up to 30% down in the past might accept as little as 10% to acquire one of their repos and/or off leases…Additionally, some lenders may offer favorable monthly payment terms vs standard lending to acquire their off lease and repos vs. the buyer looking to acquire a truck at a dealership..

For this article, potential deals for over the road trucks, semi trucks and big rigs for the customers relate to the following manufacturers: Petebilt, Mack, Kenworth, International, Freightliner, and Volvo.

In conclusion, this is a buyer’s market for semi trucks, big rigs and over the road trucks. One should evaluate all the factors relating to this acquisition including gas costs, air emissions, environmental type requirements., buyout clauses acquisition costs and its related financing. Additionally, there are two distinct financing markets out there, one for the normal acquisition from the dealership and the possibility of acquiring a repo and off lease from a lender at favorable market and financing terms. As always it is advisable, if possible, to locate financing prior to truck shopping, it could save a lot of time and stress.

How To Save Money On Your Two Wheeler Insurance

Tips to save money on two wheeler insurance

Many people in India own two wheelers. It is compulsory for you to buy a two-wheeler insurance policy if you own a bike or a scooter. But can you reduce the insurance expenses? Sure you can! Just follow these tips and you will see a difference.

Avoid making smaller claims: Before you make a claim, see how much the bill amount is. If it is a small amount, pay it yourself. Making numerous small claims will unnecessarily bring down your NCB to zero which will overall lead to a loss.

Attach anti-theft devices: A car insurance plan offers protection against theft and other dangers to the car. So if the car is found to be safe and less susceptible to thefts and break-ins, the insurer will offer a discount on the premium. Therefore look to install some anti-theft devices to the car to not only keep it safe but also to reduce your insurance costs.

Be a good driver and earn No-claim bonus: Driving carefully will reduce the chances of your car getting into mishaps. This will reduce the need to make claims and you will earn NCB. The NCB will in-turn pull down your insurance premium costs.

Renew two-wheeler insurance before expiry: Do not wait for the two wheeler insurance policy to expire before you renew it. If you have a lapsed policy, you may need to pay some fees and fines to get a new plan. So always try to renew the policy on time to save money.

Buy online: It is known fact that insurance bought online is cheaper. So buy a two wheeler insurance plan online and save a considerable amount of money.

Choose the right kind of cover: If you have a two wheeler that you use occasionally or is almost on its way out, opt for a third party cover. If however your bike is used daily and is a valuable vehicle, go for a comprehensive plan. Knowing which cover you need will help you save money.

Deductibles: Every two wheeler insurance plan has a deductible component. This means that as the policyholder, you will have to pay certain amount at the time of a claim and the insurance provider will pay the rest. A high deductible will lower your premium costs and vice versa. If you are confident of your driving skills and feel you won’t need too many claims, opt for a higher deductible. This will help you save money on your two wheeler insurance plan.

Compare: Last but not the least, you most definitely need to compare the available car insurance plans to get the best deal at the best rate. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save money on your bike insurance plan. Compare when you buy a new plan or renew an existing one.

The Key to Personal Finance

Additional effort in managing one’s personal finances will result to a more positive usage of personal resources. With attainable, realistic goals, ones financial standing will progress in no time at all. However, for the part of the individual concerned, this calls for proper planning and monitoring. There is also a need to assess at some point to see if the goals set are being met or further intervention is needed to alleviate the financial condition.

Available Income:

Regular household cash flow
After Budget cash or net flow

Regular household cash flow is what remains after the expected yearly expenses are subtracted from the expected yearly regular income. After budget cash or net flow is simply what one ends up with after subtracting regular household liabilities from the known assets. The part of the regular income that does not go towards normal expenses is a very important resource that can be diverted towards other personal financial goals. A balance sheet should be able to determine the net worth before proceeding to plan further on how to save enough for bigger and more important purchases.

Factors to be considered if 50% net increase is desired:

Full liabilities
Outstanding debts
Investment Instruments
Savings yield- savings + interest gained
Outstanding student loans

It only goes to say that when liabilities decrease, a person’s net worth increases along with it. The number one advice for people with plans to progress financially is to avoid taking juicy bank loans on offer as they are ever-potent dangers to one’s credit score specially when the interest pile up. Recovery from debts will be a much needed boost to personal finance. The more payables are settled, the fewer the liabilities are and this carries a positive reflection on one’s balance sheet and also his credit standing.

Personal investments make up most of a person’s net worth and thus it is a perpetually good move to gain as much valuable assets as a person possibly can in the course of his lifetime. This is not to say that forethought should not be employed here but the contrary. Investing by buying up profitable assets should always be preceded by careful analysis, so that a purchase will actually add vigor to one’s portfolio. The general trend is that if you are the risk avoidant type of investor high risk investments are avoided. These are properties which have value that changes with the ebb and flow of time like real estate, precious metals like gold and other physical goods that are known to have volatile values.

The riskier among us, those whose mettle are undeniably more resistant to fear easily trade in stocks and other financial instruments of our time. In this type of assets, the rule goes that the higher the risk, the higher the possible gains. This kind of investments no doubt needs to be studied and studied again due to the very nature of it to avoid excessive losses and to catch gains when and where they are likely to fall.

As savings is an important and integral part of a person’s net worth, due research is called for to yield the names of institutions that offer better products or simply better rates for one’s hard earned dollars. For example, American soldiers have the option and the privilege to take advantage of the DOD Savings Deposit program that has very high interest rates at 10%.

Savings accounts and CDs serve you in two ways: firstly by increasing your total net worth and secondly by giving a much needed buffer zone to your personal finance portfolio, as seen by prevailing trends all over. The reason for this is because such instruments are federally insured and grows at a steady, favorable rate every year.

One thing that has perennially damaged net worth are student loans as they can persist a long time after a person has graduated and worked. To counter the negative impact of this, one effective practice is to take advantage of seasonal tax breaks. With American opportunity tax credit alone, an individual can save as much as $2,500 and those who are still studying should altogether shun away from private student loans in favor of federally funded loans as these carry a lower, or fixed rates in general.

Most effective ways to maximize cash flow:

Highly informed financial decisions
Making and adhering to a budget
Controlling impulsive buying
Putting Cost cutting measures in place

Smart financial choices can sometimes spell the difference between ruin and progress. For instance, there is a choice between buying a house which becomes unaffordable later on as opposed to renting a modest accommodation. If the sale price of the house is proven to be a figure greater than 20, when the actual sale price is divided by the yearly rental, then you would be wiser if you rent. Managing personal finance need not be a daunting task; it only requires patience and practice.

Where you can cut costs:

Cut back on unnecessary expenditure
Cooking instead of dining out
Look into car insurance cost cutters
Collecting and using coupons
Buying wholesale instead of retail wherever applicable

There is absolutely no shame in using coupons and the benefits are tremendous, it can even get to be a habit. Why pay the full price when a little vigilance in cutting and saving coupons goes a long way? If no printed material is available from where to glean coupons, the internet is always there, the perfect place to search for printable coupons.

Cook at home and cook in batches. Then freeze for later meals. Have the due diligence to look after leftovers and you will probably save a fortune in take-out budget. There is no shame in keeping eatable food and it does wonders to a family or individual’s food budget.

Cut down on company offers, like phone packages, cable or internet packages, whatever has hidden charges, zero in on them and ask to get only the basic service, pay only for what you actually need and use. The extra features cost and pile up in the long run.

Carpooling is also one way to save, and if you must absolutely drive, drive safely to avoid charges. These small things all contribute towards managing one’s finance in a sane and productive way. And the habits that are changed also stick, so it is best to make sure that you make changes for the better.

How to estimate: Tools in Determining Worth

Simple Net worth calculator
Retirement calculator- many are downloadable
Mortgage rate calculator, again downloadable
Spouse or partner income calculator for multiple income households
Loan calculator, for free from many sites
Currency converter- already in wide use everywhere
Home budget calculator- a standard for many housewives
FICO score range tool- again available for free online
Student loan calculator- for up to date interest rates

These personal finance calculators are absolutely necessary when strategizing and setting up your long and short term goals, tax payments and schedules, mortgage resolutions and other financial steps. The closer the estimates are to real figures, the closer you will be to realizing your plans and these depend heavily on calculators.

Personal finance is simply net worth, cash flow, the relevant planning, savings, investment instruments, budget or allocations and cost cutting. If effort is made to understand the concepts in theory and applied wisely, a personal balance sheet and credit score will improve continuously beyond recovery and go well into growth.

The Latest Trend In Doorstep Loans

These days, individuals frequently have no opportunity to visit loan specialist’s office to apply for quick cash bolster. Henceforth they begin asking financial assistance from relatives and companions that is exceptionally humiliating. Be that as it may, no more you need to shoulder the disgrace of looking for assistance from companions for banks and facilitates everywhere throughout the United Kingdom have presented Doorstep loans. As the very name suggests, finances under this cash backing is conveyed comfortable doorstep. Additionally, the sum affirmed is all that anyone could need for all your unimportant needs that look for your moment consideration.

Until the point that a couple of years back, applying for extra subsidizes was a testing assignment as you were requested to experience repetitive customs. You were solicited to submit piles from archives. Actually, it took a very long time to finish the whole procedure. The greater part of the circumstances, when you got an endorsement, the requirement for stores was finished.

Be that as it may, things changed with online machine mode that scarcely took a couple of minutes of yours. Simply peruse pages and you will run over different banks offering moment cash backing. Because of regularly expanding rivalry among moneylenders, it has turned into a great deal less demanding for you to pick the loan specialist that offers bargains according to your need.

Render your own subtle elements on an online application frame yet ensure it is finished and exact. Numerous loan specialists may get in touch with you inside no season of applying. You can choose from bargains that suits your current needs. In the event that they are happy with your data, assets may be authorized into your bank tally and you can sue it the way you need with no confinements. From paying pending power charges, Visa charges, stockpiling charges; obligation solidification, child’s instructive expenses to traveling, meeting wedding costs and therapeutic urgencies, you can do everything.

Regardless of where you live in the United Kingdom, you will get cash comfortable home as 12 Month Loans. Assets will contact you either as cash or as a check. Loan specialists will charge financing cost contingent upon your current settled pay and reimbursement capacity. Sometimes, reimbursement residency is additionally broadened. Here, loan specialists charge extra expense for late installment. Be that as it may, paying extra sum isn’t an issue as you can dispose of every one of your inconveniences without running all over.

There is all around the energy among the general population about getting the sum specifically at the entryway with no dreary undertaking by any stretch of the imagination. What’s more, the news is valid and spread like a fire over the United Kingdom. In this way, it is awesome time for those individuals, who used to go to the entryway of the bank keeping in mind the end goal to have exchange about the loans. However, now, the time has come to desert the conventional framework for the acquisition of the earnest bucks in light of the fact that the presentation of doorstep loans UK has been influenced the impact in the finance to advertise.

In this way, the borrowers don’t need to squander their valuable time in going all over on the grounds that the sum something like 100 to 500 is specifically dispatched at the home of the candidates inside round the clock. There is no prerequisite of playing out the hassle full customs. In this way, influence a call to the appropriate loan specialist with the sensible enthusiasm to rate and get the sum as ahead of schedule as could be expected under the circumstances.

Sip Calculator Magnetizing The Investors Towards Online Investing

Online investing option has reached to a higher level with the introduction of SIP calculator. Making the calculation of SIP amount easy, the tool is handy to use as well. Let us understand the concept of SIP calculator with a story. There were two friends Yash and Rohan. Both had passed out college and were placed in MNCs. With the commencement of their career, they took a resolution of initiating their investment also. Yash was very trendy, and new technologies magnetized him. On the contrary, Rohan was simple and was not much of a techie. As both of them decided to invest, Yash did all the research online and also prompted Rohan to take up the online investment method. But, as for Rohan, it was not his area of expertise. So, Rohan relied on the mutual fund agent, and Yash went for online investing. When it came to deciding the amount to invest as SIP monthly both were confused. Yash took the help of an SIP calculator, and Rohan trusted the agent. But, the outcome was that Yash got the exact amount required for investment and the agent failed to calculate the precise amount and thus took an approx figure. Thus, for the same scheme Yash paid the correct amount that was required and Rohan had to pay a little more due to the inaccuracy of calculations.

The story signifies the importance of SIP calculator in the investing process, because the amount of SIP decides the corpus (the main aim of investing). Especially in the online investing the role of an SIP calculator is of vital importance. The investor advances towards being free in order to make the optimal use of their money. SIP calculator acts as a catalyst in aggravating the process investment through proper channel.

Features of an SIP calculator:-

There are a lot of features which motivates an online investor to use SIP calculator. A few amongst them are stated below:

Easy to use:

SIP calculator is an easy tool to operate on. The user-friendly approach is the striking feature of the tool. Providing an environment of smooth functioning and quick calculations, an SIP calculator in India is making online investments attain new heights with each passing day. The main reason of the increasing inclination towards online investment is the handy tool (SIP calculator), which ease out the complex calculations manifolds.

Using CAGR:

SIP calculator uses the formula of CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) to calculate the returns. CAGR is the most widely accepted concept for the growth calculation of investment over a period extending one year. The calculation of CAGR is very complex and not beyond the grasping power of non-financial people. It is a mind wrecking concept and takes time to understand. But you need not worry. The CAGR calculation is simplified with the help of SIP return calculator. Paving the way for quick and easy calculations, SIP return calculator has become a defining point of online investment.

Targeting accuracy:

The goal of an SIP calculator is to provide results that are 100% accurate. But, it works on the inputs that are fed to it. Any mistake in the input data leads to an erroneous result. Otherwise, the result shows the exact and accurate outcome without the mistake of a decimal place. A perfection of that level is surely a strong feature of SIP return calculator.

Top 10 Free Finance Apps for Android

Introduction

Today’s generation is growing up on apps and so they require apps for everything. Therefore application developers have also come out with mobile apps for finance. These are:

1) PayPal

This ubiquitous app makes sending money very easy. It has the same unique features as other banking platforms like checking account balances, transferring funds, etc. Its “Local” function lets users connect with local merchants and pay them with PayPal. All financial information that a customer adds into his profile will always remain safe and secure.

2) Mint.com Personal Finance

This app lets users keep track of all their personal finance accounts in one place. Additionally, they can track spending, create a budget and save more. Customers can categorize transactions, view charts and graphs showing their expense patterns, etc.

3) Google Finance

This app allows users to stream real-time quotes. This app synchronizes with your Google Finance portfolios, gives access to charts, views market and company news, etc.

4) Google Wallet

This app has been designed to keep all your debit and credit cards safe and secure. Users can pay for their store purchases with either their credit or debit cards just by tapping on their phones. Payment information will be transmitted via NFC.

5) E-Trade Mobile

Using this app, users can stream real-time quotes, manage accounts, monitor brokerage accounts, place trades for stocks and create watch lists from the phone itself. Additionally, they can deposit cheques, quick transfer cash and watch live CNBC video on demand.

6) Manilla-Bills and Reminders

This is the leading free and secure service which enables you to manage all your bills and accounts all in one place online using the free 4+-star customer-rated mobile applications. Using just one password, you can manage all of your household accounts, including finances, utilities, travel rewards, subscriptions, daily deals and more.

7) Slice

Slice is a free app for android phones that allows users to track all their shipments in one screen. Users can view which items are on their way to their visual tracking map, they can get push notifications when a package is shipped out for delivery or has been delivered. Even returns can be tracked by scanning the shipping bar codes or adding the tracking number to Slice. Users can also save money with Slice’s Price Drop Alerts.

8) Expensify

This app gives users free expense reports. It does this by importing expenses and receipts directly from the credit card statements. Additionally, this app also helps submit PDF expense reports by email and reimburses upto US$10K online.

9) Check (formerly Pageonce)

This useful app just stays on top of it all. You just have to set it up once and it will do everything right from staying on top of your bills and monitoring your bank accounts and credit cards to giving you alerts when bills are due and funds are low. With this app, the user is never caught off guard.

10) doxo

The doxo application is your digital filing cabinet, which keeps all your important documents in one place. Using this app, all users can get rid of paper clutter and store their documents in one place in their soft form. They can also connect to select service providers and receive their bills and mail automatically on doxo.

The Benefits Of Trading The Commodity Market

Like trading in the Stock market, trading in the commodity market is also very interesting. While one trades on the basis of Stock Cash Tips in the stock market, the trader can trade on the basis of commodity tips in the commodity market. ProfitAim Research is one such advisory firm, which provide both the best Stock Cash tips as well as commodity tips to the traders.
Commodity market seems to be a lucrative avenue to a lot of traders and Investors. In the Commodity market various commodities are traded and one can take benefit of the price fluctuations to trade effectively in the commodity market. Various commodities are listed on the Commodity exchange and the relative prices of various commodities are traded on the exchange. There are various benefits of the Commodity trading like a trader can make huge profits by trying to forecast the Commodity signals. The most important part of the Commodity trading is to anticipate the Commodity trading signals.
Scalping: Intraday Trading Strategy For Commodity Market
One of the important benefits of the Commodity market is that the trader can form a strategy and trade on the basis of it. The Intraday strategies like First hour strategy or scalping techniques can be followed to earn good profits from the trades. Scalping is a technique to look at the price range during the first hour of trade and then look for a breakout from this range. Thus, if the prices break from the high it’s a buy call and a rise in the prices is anticipated. On the other hand, if a breakout from the lower limit of range is observed a down trend is anticipated. Thus, scalping is an important strategy in achieving good profits from the Commodity markets.
Also, there are other strategies available like trading for small profits. In this case small changes in the Commodity signals are generally traded for the profits. Also, a large number of trades are executed to add up to large profits, this will be applicable in Stock cash tips as well. The Commodity trading signals are unassuming but still with a proper plan and a proper strategy good profits can be made through Commodity markets. The trader can also base their trade based on the advice from the advisory firms who provide free Commodity signals initially and then charge a nominal amount for their services. Thus, the Commodity trading is beneficial if done with proper planning and strategy.
Trading based on the Charts
Trading in the stock or commodity market is an art difficult to master. People use various methods and strategies to trade in the stock markets. Trading based on the charts is one of the ways out of them. Various types of charts exist like Candle Stick charts and line charts. These charts can be plotted with varying time scale. The price movement depicted by chart can be an important way of forecasting future prices.
Thus, one can trade on the basis of charts and by applying suitable indicators of the technical analysis, one can anticipate the price movement. Trading on the basis of intraday Stock Cash Tips is the other way of trading.

Does Social Media Help In Getting An Auto Loan?

We live in a world dominated by technology and social media. Whether they are your shared posts, status or your connections, social media platforms play a key role in carving your virtual personality. A well-known fact is that technology is an inevitable yet an integral part of our lives. When it comes to financing your car, social media is building its way and becoming a relevant medium of profiling. For instance, John walked into a dealership to purchase and obtain financing for a car. The quickest and easiest way to search for a tentative background of John would be to get a grasp of his personality on the basis of his behavior on Facebook and Twitter account, respectively. Currently, a small percentage of lenders use social media for judging an individual’s creditworthiness. However, the developing presence of social media is gaining mind share of the lenders.

Can Social Media help in ascertaining the Creditworthiness of an individual?

1) Facebook can build your Credit Circle

The very essence of Facebook lies in networking. A creditworthy profile does not require millions of posts or many friends. However, if you have a genuine profile and do not pose any abnormal social behavior, your profile is likely to get approved for an auto loan. Additionally, the presence of certain contacts in your friend list with a clean history and a strong credit score further add to your creditworthiness. Lenders can look for mutual contacts that have been previous customers. The payment history of the mutual contact can then be used as a basis to judge your creditworthiness. In order to get the most out of your circle, seek a person with a good credit score and make him a cosigner and your auto loan process will become smooth.

2) With LinkedIn, lenders can check your Employment Stability

A stable employment speaks volumes about your personality and trustworthiness. LinkedIn can serve as the best source of obtaining information regarding your job history, duration, professional position and interests. The documentation of an auto loan requires you to display evidence of a source of income through pay stubs. However, there is less proof one can gather regarding the stability of employment. Social media can become a tool to ascertain not only if there is job-hopping, but also the financial strength of the individual. A person with a 500+ connections, long duration of employment history and a considerable profile activity can become a favorable applicant in the eyes of the lender.

Buying a Car: Making the Most of your Social Media Profile

Social media has made its way into the minds of auto buyers as well as lenders. As primary sources of guides, nothing comes above your credit score, current income status and payment history. However, virtual platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are starting to occupy mind share in terms of creditworthiness. Once the primary sources of information seem insufficient, lenders may turn to social media to get an idea of your personality. A few helpful ways to make sure your social media positively adds to your credit score is to be careful with your online posts, invite only genuine friends into your virtual circle and to always keep your professional profiles updated.

Diversify Your Business Finance

Introduction

The Government has announced a new initiative to help diversify business finance which will be led by UK industry experts from both the business and finance sectors.

UK businesses still rely heavily on bank funding to help finance their business activities even though there are many alternative sources of funding available to them in today’s ever changing financial marketplace.

The Government wants to ensure, in light of recent and current banking reforms, that the flow of finance to businesses is maintained. Alternative sources of finance will be crucial to help businesses deliver the wider economic growth the UK economy needs.

The panel of experts will seek to establish a framework of alternative finance sources by working with businesses and business investors, financial institutions and providers of alternative finance to coordinate and facilitate the availability of funding that businesses need.

Bank lending

Even though there has been a recorded increase in new lending from the largest banks this year many businesses are still unhappy with bank lending levels and how they have been treated by their banks.

Tighter lending criteria, non-renewal of overdraft facilities and poor communication by the banks are the common problems cited by businesses as making their funding objectives difficult to achieve.

Without the finance they need, UK businesses struggle to survive and grow, and so the UK economy does the same. This is why the Government is not only introducing schemes to increase bank lending but is also keen to encourage as much competition in the financial market as possible and provide a wide range of alternative sources of finance to UK businesses.

Alternative finance

There is already a wide range of alternative finance sources available to businesses.

One of the biggest barriers to increasing the take up of these sources of finance is simply general awareness. New and emerging providers of alternative financial products do not have the branch infrastructure that makes for the efficient and effective distribution of their products.

The other important factor here is that many owners and managers of small and medium sized businesses, which are the backbone of the UK economy, are unaware of the range of alternative finance available and where to find it.

New methods of communication are required and it is hoped this will be a key objective of the Government’s initiative.

Invoice Finance

Invoice finance is one of the most popular options in the alternative finance portfolio and has grown over the last fifteen years from about 13,000 companies using it in the UK to over 50,000 companies now.

This extremely flexible method of business finance advances funds against unpaid sales invoices. There are variations within the invoice finance family of products which includes invoice factoring and invoice discounting.

The invoice finance lenders will advance up to 95% against a company’s unpaid sales invoices and use the sales ledger as security by taking assignation of the invoice and so the outstanding debt is effectively owned by them.

When the invoice is paid by the company’s customer the invoice finance company will pay over the balance of the invoice that has not been funded after deducting their fees. There is usually a charge for the facility and an interest charge for the amount of funding advanced.

One of the main benefits of invoice finance is that the facility will grow as the business grows thus making it a very effective method of funding working capital.

Where in the World Is Your Finance Penetration?

Way back in 1971, C.P. Snow wrote about technology in the New York Times. He said, “Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.”

Many dealers are voicing that sentiment these days. Far too few have done anything about it. Some have learned to use computer software with skill. They use the apps on iPhones, iPads, and Blackberries. They have created an effective Web site. They use Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn for social networking. For others, these are merely words and technologies that test their ability to conduct both business and their private lives. Dealers, already feeling the brunt of the two-plus year recession and massive changes in the car industry, are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to not only keep up, but to even remain in the playing field.

Why should dealers bother with such things? Isn’t the old way good enough? Nope!

Customers who always shopped on the lot are now shopping on the Internet before they take a step toward a dealership. They’ve researched every model in their price range and with the features they want. They’ve read a dozen articles about how to get the best deal. They’ve become more savvy than many sales people hired by dealerships; they know their credit score; they know where they can find the best price on insurance, window tinting, undercoating, you name it. Everything once sold to them by a finance officer from the menu is for sale on the Internet.

Are you one of the dealerships where handwringing has become a daily pastime? Have you taken a close look at your bottom line? Have you noticed what would happen to your finance portfolio if you removed your sub-vent rated and nonprime customers? Have the numbers of your prime-financing customers dwindled to an all-time low? Perhaps you haven’t seen the drop in your captive financing yet, but beware, it’s coming just as surely as the first snowstorm.

Snow was right, back in 1971! The Internet can either become a beacon for drawing in more satisfied customers to your dealership and vastly increase your bottom line, or it can stab you in the back. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. How?

Statistics show that 80% of car customers go online before they make the decision to buy and before they come to your dealership. What are they researching? Brands, models, features and, most of all, prices. Most of all, prices. The majority of Americans in today’s economy are deeply concerned about their budget. They have a fixed amount to spend on a car payment and all the other expenses involved in owning it. The vehicle they choose must fit within that fixed figure. They cannot afford to buy on whim or to make a careless mistake. They won’t take the chance of being bamboozled into buying things they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford by a fast-talking sales or finance manger

Where do these savvy customers get their information? One of their first sources is Edmunds, the friendly consumer-shopping guide. Edmunds has never been and still isn’t the dealer’s friend. Edmunds does whatever is necessary to achieve the sale on vehicles and products from the Internet shopper… and then refers these buyer to specific retailers to obtain a fee! Banks. Finance companies. Insurance companies. You name it.

Don’t let them get a strangle hold on your customers! If you haven’t already checked this article on Edmunds.com, perhaps you should do so right now!

Confessions of an Auto Finance Manager In the Back Rooms of America’s Car Dealerships By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor and Nick James

Introduction

“Congratulations, you’re getting a great deal!” the car salesman says, pumping your hand. “Let’s sign the paperwork and you’ll be on your way in your new car!”

At first you’re relieved – the negotiating is over. But then the salesman walks you down a back hallway to a stark, cramped office with “Finance and Insurance” on the door. Inside, a man in a suit sits behind the desk. He greets you with a faint smile on his face. An hour later you walk out in a daze: The whole deal was reworked, your monthly payment soared and you bought products you didn’t really want.

What happened to your great deal?

You just got hit by the “F&I Man,” also called the finance officer. He waits in the back of every dealership for unsuspecting customers so he can increase the profit for the dealership and boost his commission.

In this four-part series, written by veteran auto finance manager Nick James, you will learn the F&I man’s tricks and how to avoid them. When you’re done, you’ll be ready to safely navigate this crucial part of the car buying process, and the F&I man will never work his “magic” on you again.

- The Editors at Edmunds.com

Are you still ushering your customers into the office of your “F&I Man”? No? You have a Web site? You update it once a month? You have a tech-savvy employee who checks your e-mail messages every morning? BUT… how would you answer these questions?

When your potential customers come to your Web site, what resources do you have available to steer them away from online financing? Do you have a quick reference guide for their buying the vehicle that fits their budget and your financing terms? Is the information presented in a complete, forthright and friendly manner? Does it enlist confidence and trust? Will readers feel they’d get a no-nonsense financing deal from you?

If these online customers make a call to ask a few questions, does your finance manager answer them, or resort to the former game of “I can only reveal those options when you come in for an interview”? Does he or she become discouraged by the process of reviewing transactions over the phone? Does your Internet manager have direct access to your finance manager at all times; avoid posting rates and product pricing on your Web site; work well with your sales and finance departments? Have you utilized the I-chat technology now readily available to instantly answer your customers’ finance questions? How many phone calls to your finance department go unanswered on a daily basis? How are online customer calls being handled in your F&I office?

Reducing your finance penetration will not only effect the overall performance of your dealership, but will negatively effective your reinsurance investment. If your customers are financing with someone else, they could also be buying their other products. Take a long and serious look at the insurance products you sell, the agent who works with you, and the changes that must be made to keep you competitive with the technology available to all your customers. You must remain competitive in products offered, their quality, and their prices. Should you be considering a new partner?

What new and creative processes are you providing your current and potential customers within your Web site? Have you considered presenting your menu as a virtual finance manager? Do you have WebEx with a preloaded menu available for review with your customers whether they are onsite in your finance office or sitting in the comfort of their home? Why not?

An upfront sales approach is the best way to reestablish a thriving business in today’s technological world. Teenagers and college students are facile in the use of every conceivable tool involving the information highway. They are your future customers. They will find Edmunds and every comparable site and use the information to their advantage. Provide them with a dozen reasons to buy their vehicle and products from your dealership. Ensure them that financing their dream car with you is the only sensible choice.

Although computer use and Internet technology has been around for several decades, it has taken a giant leap in recent years as more and more consumers realize they can save themselves time and money by letting their fingers do the walking. Another great American journalist, Sydney J. Harris, who wrote for the Chicago Daily News and later the Chicago Sun-Times, died in the late 80s; but, he was savvy about where technology would take us. He said, “The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”