Got (Intellectual) Property? Protect It!

If you are an entrepreneur there is a good chance you have some type of intellectual property that needs to be protected. You might be thinking to yourself that your operation is so small that you do not have anything that needs to be protected. Think again. If you have any intangible assets that have a value in the market place, more than likely you have intellectual property. Intellectual property can include ideas, inventions, creative works, designs, business methods and manufacturing processes.

Protecting your intellectual property can be financial beneficial to your venture in the long run, so it is important to understand how you can protect your business’ most valuable assets. Although you business may be small right now, as your company grows your intellectual property can become one of your most valuable assets. It is important to handle it with care.

How do we go about protecting our intellectual property?

Intellectual property can be broken into many categories, these are: copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets. Some of these categories have things in common and some overlap, so it is important to have an understanding of each one, to see which law will best protect your intellectual property.

Let’s begin with copyright. Copyright gives the owner of the creative work the right to keep others from using that work without permission. Just about any creative work can be copyrighted, novels, plays, poems, text books and songs, are some of the most common things that are copyrighted. When you produce a creative work it is automatically your property and belongs to you. If you want further protection it is a good idea to register your creative work with the Library of Congress.

If you have a distinctive logo, phrase or graphic symbol that sets your business apart from other businesses you may want to consider getting a trademark for those items. A trademark is a distinctive word, phrase, logo or graphic symbol that identifies a particular brand or company. Trade marking can even be extended to how products are packaged, the shapes of containers or even to the décor of your store. If you have a distinctive way of packaging your products or a particular way you decorate your store, you may also want to consider getting a trademark.

Many entrepreneurs may be familiar with patents and assume that patents are only for inventions or for corporation who spend millions of dollars on development of new products. Although patents are useful for inventions, they may be issued for designs, jewelry, shapes and business methods and strategies used by your company. To be considered for a patent you need to be able to prove that your product (or method) will make money in the market.

The strongest of all intellectual property laws is the trade secret. Trade secrets are any device, process or knowledge that has the potential for competitive advantage. Trade secrets can even be extended to ideas. For trade secrets to be upheld in a court of law, there must be strict secrecy among employees and you must be selective to whom you share your trade secret. To keep your ideas protected it is important to restrict access as much as possible.

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How to Make Your Bathroom Energy Efficient

When it comes to making your home more eco-friendly and energy efficient, many people forget about one of the most used rooms in their home, the bathroom. Since the bathroom is so frequently used on a daily basis, and it is the room that uses the most water, it is probably a room that is costing you the most money in energy. However, it is never too late to make your bathroom as energy efficient as the rest of your home. Keep reading to find out how.

Energy Efficient Fixtures are Available:

Toilets: When making your bathroom more energy efficient, it is useful to keep in mind the kinds of fixtures you choose. Toilets are one of the biggest sources of water usage in the bathroom, and the most water is wasted by older toilets. Whether it is in how much water is used per flush or problems that cause your toilet to run longer than usual, older toilets will cause you to pay more money and use more water. There are many new toilets on the market today that take water consumption into mind in how they are designed. These toilets are made so they use much more suction power when flushed so they do not need to use as much water. This means that less water goes to waste. This is a good first step in creating a more energy efficient bathroom.

Bathtubs: Bathtubs are another energy consuming culprit in your bathroom, and this is even more true for older bathtubs. Older bathtubs are typically made out of cast iron or steel, which is very cold to lay against when taking a bath. This causes people to raise the temperature of their bath water to make them feel warmer in the tub. Remodelling your bathtub to an acrylic model could help decrease the amount of energy you use in the bathroom. If you choose to remodel your bathtub, hire a professional bathroom renovation company to do the job for you.

Showers: If water consumption is something you care about, you should assess the shower head you are currently using. So many shower heads use countless litres of water for every 5 minutes of use. That is a lot of wasted water and a lot of money on your energy bills. An important way to make your bathroom more energy efficient is to purchase and install a water-efficient shower head. These shower heads are low pressure and use tonnes less water per 5 minutes of showering which will significantly reduce your energy costs.

Assess Your Lighting Situation:

Energy Efficient Lightbulbs: Lighting is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked ways of reducing the amount of energy you use in the bathroom. No matter what kind of lighting unit you have, it is as simple as changing the bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs may cost a few dollars more than regular bulbs, but they will save you much more money in the long run. Energy efficient bulbs use only a fraction of the electricity of regular bulbs and last up to 15 times longer. A smart way to save even more electricity is to add a dimmer switch to your energy efficient bulbs. This way when the bathroom is being used for purposes such as taking a relaxing bath or shower, the lights can by dimmed since they are not needed so bright.

What Do Your Windows Look Like?:

New Windows: If there are any, another energy consumer in your bathroom could be your windows. There is a lot of moisture in bathrooms and this can cause damage to the windows and window frames over time. This can cause leaks from the window of hot and cold air. This means it will also cost more on your energy bills. If there is damage done to your windows that cannot be easily fixed, you should definitely replace your bathroom window. Choose an energy efficient window with special glass systems to help reduce the energy use altogether. You will find a decrease in your future energy bills for sure.

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How People With Bad Credit Can Get an Auto Loan Online

If you have bad or poor credit ratings and you need a car to fulfill your computation needs, chances are you might be confused as to how to go about it. You have a dire requirement for a car, but you just ca not manage to get one. In most cases, when an applicant applies for an auto loan, and knows he or she has poor credit ratings, there is a common feeling that things are not going to work out. Well, the good news is that that particular feeling is a misconception. Things are possible.

You can get your auto loan even with lousy credit ratings. The main reason why that is possible is because many subprime loan providers offer auto loans with bad credit. You can get your car loan, but you need to know a few facts about how the car market works, and you also need to organize and prepare yourself for your car loan. The article tries to help any individual with poor credit scores prepare for the credit facility by providing some of the necessary, and much required information that is related to acquiring loans with poor credit ratings or scores.

Credit scores to qualify for the car loan

Loan providers generally consider credit scores within the range of 500 to 680 while providing the car loans. The minimum score that is required is 500 to qualify for the loan. Creditors prefer not to entertain applicants whose credit ratings are below that level for the simple reason that the applicants automatically become subprime candidates, and the risk factor associated with the loan repayment increases. Loan providers always prefer to play it safe, especially in these troubled economic times when the market conditions are bad, and many individuals are facing pay cuts and job losses.

If you happen to have poor credit ratings, and desire to go in for standard auto dealers or creditors who provide auto loans, it is recommended you improve your credit ratings by engaging in a credit score recovery program. If you are pressed for time, and it is important to avail your car on a priority basis, it is advised you search out for creditors who specialize in providing credit facilities to people who have low FICO scores and bad or poor credit ratings. Many creditors provide poor credit car loans, and the best place to find them is to be online and search the net by Googling with the correct keywords.

Required monthly income

Generally loan providers look out for a monthly income that is within $2,000 to $2,500. The other factors considered are what kind of overheads or fixed monthly expenses the applicant incurs, in addition to other financial liabilities associated with maintaining the family. If your monthly paycheck is within the range, you are most likely to qualify for the auto loan. In case you are not, there is an option to go in for some additional income by taking up some part time job, or even take up some project work that helps in getting some extra money. In any event, you need to earn the required amount every month, and make sure there is proof regarding your total monthly income, which you can submit along with your loan application. In case you ca not come up with the required monthly pay, you can always find a car loan lender who can provide a bad credit auto loan.

Credit bureau and the length of your record

The reliability of a person is loan repayment is reflected in the credit records. If the credit history is short, it does not give much information about how the particular individual has repaid the credit borrowed. And this issue worries the creditors. They look out for consistency as far as loan repayment is concerned. And the only way they can come to know about it is through the credit records maintained with the credit bureaus.

Even if the credit record is not that good, if there is enough evidence that the applicant has eventually redeemed the loan, the creditor is likely to consider the loan application. However, if the applicant does not have a longish credit history, the creditor is going to be hesitant while considering the application. If you do not have the required credit history, it is recommended you contact a loan expert and work out other options as to how one can compensate for the deficiency of the credit records. One possible way is to go in for a co-applicant how has the required credit history, or maybe go in for a co-signer who can provide a guarantee on your behalf.

The down payment factor

The money you pay as a down payment makes a substantial difference. In fact; it is the major factor which decides the extent to which you will get your auto loan. The greater the amount, the better the chances you have of getting your required credit. Creditors understand if the person makes a bigger down payment, he or she is more committed in redeeming. Another advantage the creditor has is the fact that a substantial down payment reduces the net payable interest and the loan balance. The risk factor gets reduced. So if possible go in for a greater down payment to increase your chances of getting your loan, if you have poor credit ratings.

The rate of interest

Every loan, whether it is a car loan or a mortgage loan is associated with a certain rate of interest. The fundamental objective of the loan provider, any loan provider for that matter, is to make money through the interest rate. If you find it difficult to qualify, you could offer to pay a higher rate of interest for your car loan. It might interest the creditor, and tempt him or her in providing you with the loan.

Be honest

People tend to hide their negative points. There is a general tendency to lie about things if one feels one can get away with it. The problem is as far as credit history or records are concerned, everything is recorded and in black and white. Your creditor will definitely know your credibility through the credit bureau. So if you lie while filing up the application form, it just would not work. it is very likely your application well get rejected on the grounds of misleading or false information. Providing wrong information intentionally can be a criminal offense in some of the states, and can even instigate a litigation or a law suit. So honesty is the best policy while applying.

Know the creditor

It is important to know about the creditor is background. At times, creditors have personal preferences as to who they desire to fund. One can check out the client history and get a certain idea as to what kind of clients the creditor favors, and which applicants are rejected. Generally there is a patter in the manner of rejections. If you feel you probably belong to the “rejection” category, it is advisable you find a different creditor who is likely to honor your application.

The car itself

The car that you choose plays a major part in deciding the parameters of the car loan. The down payment, the rate of interest, the tenure, etc depends upon the make and the model of the car you decide to buy. The lower the cost of the car, the greater the chances of getting your loan approval. it is worth thinking about a “used” car as a possible option if you do not have proper credit ratings.

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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