Travel Loan: Is it a Wise Option?

Travel Loan: Is it a Wise Option?

Should You Borrow Money to Travel?

Frequent travelers usually save up or use their credit cards to finance their trips. Some also take out a loan, specifically a travel loan, a.k.a. tourist loan. Borrowing money for a trip may not sound the most sensible, but if you use your credit card to book flights and shop abroad, aren’t you technically doing the same?

People who are highly deliberate with their finances may disapprove of going into debt in order to travel. However, there could be some perks to getting a travel loan. If you found a good lender, you can negotiate your terms so that you can still stick to your monthly budget while making your repayments. Plus, travel loans aren’t as big as home loans or car loans. You won’t be borrowing hundreds of thousands, so it’s easy to repay over a short period.

Potential Challenges to Borrowing Money for Travel

Travel is neither a tangible nor an appreciating asset. It is a luxury that loses value upon consumption. As such, it’s worthless to anyone but you.

Ask yourself what the trip means to you before borrowing money. Determine if the memories you’ll make will last a lifetime. If you’ll be sacrificing a part of your monthly income for repaying the loan, then your travel should be worth it. Depending on how much you borrow, you could be repaying the loan for years.

For example, if you borrow $10,000 for a month-long trip all over Asia, and the loan’s interest is at 15%, your monthly payment for 5 years will be $237.90. Your interest payments would add up to $4,273.96, making your total repayment $14,273.96. That’s a hefty amount of money for a depreciating asset. But if the travel’s value if beyond monetary for you, then paying over $200 every month for 5 years shouldn’t be an issue. You can negotiate for a more flexible term anyway, such as 10 years. But your interest payments will blow up more over that period.

The Good Side of Borrowing Money for Travel

Debts have such a bad reputation when it is used for anything other than homes, businesses, or cars. Some people even disdain travelers who use borrowed money for their trips. But a travel loan has more positive qualities than one realizes.

Travel loans allow for more financial flexibility. You can borrow more than what you need so that you’ll have room to enjoy your travel more. Say, your California itinerary didn’t include a tour to the Disneyland Resort initially, but upon setting foot in the state, you realized that it would be a bummer to miss it. But because you borrowed more than what you need, you can still buy tickets to the Disneyland Resort and enjoy a guiltless, spontaneous activity.

In addition, having extra money is useful in case of emergencies. Some trips result in unexpected food poisoning or injuries. Though an ER visit is the last thing in your mind while planning a trip, it’s better to be prepared for it than experience it empty-handed. If not a medical-related incident, emergencies can be extra baggage fees, hotel services, or unplanned activities.

Furthermore, travel loans give you more financial advantage than credit cards. Using a credit card tempts you to spend more because you’re not seeing your money get wiped out. Paying with cash, on the contrary, encourages you to stick to your budget. A travel loan’s fixed interest rate is lower than a credit card’s, too.

How to Qualify for a Travel Loan

There are many lenders offering travel loans. Each lender and loan offer different perks. But the qualifications are more or less the same for everyone. The terms, however, may differ depending on the location. In the Philippines, for example, a standard travel loan program has a term of 1 day up to 365 days, a principal amount of Php 1,000 to Php 35,000, and a fixed interest rate, calculated after application.

But as with any loan, you need a good credit score to be approved. A major credit scoring company will assess your financial records to see if you fit the risk profile. If you have no other debts, your chances of getting approved increases.

Here are the requirements for applying, assuming that you’re borrowing in the Philippines:

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time of application formalization
  • A Philippine or U.S. citizen
  • A permanent source of income

Having no credit score or history won’t automatically result in a denial. But for lenders to ensure that you’ll repay, they may ask for collateral, such as your car or another one of your properties.

Considering the amazing perks of a travel loan, being short on cash is no longer a hindrance to exploring the world. As long as you are a responsible spender, then borrowing money for travel won’t jeopardize your financial stability.

5 Steps for Setting Your Affairs in Order

5 Steps for Setting Your Affairs in Order

How to Prepare Your Affairs In Case the Worst Happens

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a death toll in the millions from all around the world. The best way to protect people from contracting the illness remains distancing yourself from other people and staying indoors as much as possible. But people still need to go to work, especially if they’re frontline workers.

However, although the definition of frontline workers needs to be agreed upon by authorities, you may already be returning to your regular workplace. This is particularly hazardous. For example, even if your wellness resort adjusts to the pandemic, you still face an increased risk of contracting the illness and getting hospitalized.

Worse, you may have a preexisting condition and fall mortally ill. The mortality risk of the illness depends on largely on your age, but you never know how it can affect you and your capacity to earn. Although it is a very sensitive and grim topic, you need to learn how to set your affairs in order in case you are hospitalized for a prolonged time or in case the worst happens.

Here are five steps you can take to ensure your affairs won’t be a mess if you fall ill and that your loved ones are take care of.

  1. Locate all Personal Records

You need to set your affairs in order long before you put yourself at risk. Locate and collate all important personal records your family or loved ones may need to check you into a hospital or to access your finances. These will generally fall into three categories: personal information, financial data and medical information

Medical information includes your insurance policy and documents on the coverage of your health insurance. Your previous medical history will also be necessary to guide doctor’s treatments.

Your personal information includes all documents that will help your loved prove that you are who you say you are. Birth certificates, certificates of employment and marriage licenses belong in this category.

Finally, you must collate your financial records. The passwords to your bank accounts, lists of assets like real estate property and investments should all be easily accessible by your family in case the worst happens.

  1. Create a Reference for Important Documents

Naturally, all your documents will be incredibly difficult to parse. This is why you need to make it easier for your loved ones to reference and find them. For example, you can sort out all your files into different clearly marked folders with tabs indicating the contents. You can print out a page identifying which document is which and where they can be found. This will make the process significantly easier if you do succumb to an illness.

  1. Prepare Advanced Directives

If you do catch the virus, you’re more likely to be incapacitated for a long period or even rendered uncommunicative. You may be too delirious to manage your healthcare and finances or unable to speak due to medical devices. This makes arranging advanced directives essential prior to the events. Advanced directives generally fall into two types. A living will instructs people on how you want to be cared or in your illness. The other type is assigning someone who will have durable power of attorney for health care. This designated person will be in charge of making medical decisions for you.

If you own a business or have a lot of enterprises, you may also want to assign someone with durable power of attorney, which will empower them to make decisions for you in any legal task should you be unable to make them on your own.

  1. Come Up with Financial Strategies

Whether you’re running your own business or simply working on the front lines, you and the important people in your life need to come up with financial strategies should you fall ill. This can include where you’re going to get the money to pay for your health care. Which assets are you all willing to part with to fund prolonged hospitalization? Should you sell the car first or take out a second mortgage on your house? Setting these protocols up long before they become necessary makes it less hard for your loved ones and reduces the stress from an already stressful situation.

  1. Contact a Legal Professional

Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to get the advice of a legal professional. Have a lawyer go over your affairs such as your will and check if everything is in order. This can help you spot any issue that could reduce legal entanglements if you’re unresponsive or worse in a hospital. Their help will also be necessary if you plan on changing your will.

Yes, it’s not pleasant to discuss what could happen when the worst happens. But bad things, like serious illness, can and regularly do happen, especially in these uncertain times. Not discussing the probability and how to handle such events helps no one. Learning how to set your affairs in order will give you and your loved ones some peace of mind in these troubled times.

6 Tips to Staying Positive During the Home Buying Process

6 Tips to Staying Positive During the Home Buying Process

How to Stay Optimistic When Buying a Home

Purchasing a house can be a long and arduous task, especially for first-time homebuyers. Unless you have help from wealthy parents or are making big bucks yourself, chances are that the process won’t be as smooth sailing as you’d like it to be.

Home sellers, for instance, may say no to your offer or give you an unfair deal. Another scenario is a mortgage loan provider not giving you the interest rate you need.

When the home buying process gets tough, how do tough homebuyers keep going? Here are a few tips you can follow to stay motivated, disciplined and focused during the entire home purchasing journey:

If your friends or family members aren’t supportive of your decision to purchase a home in the current market, hear their reasons and arguments. Then, check if the facts they’re providing are true.

Also, don’t get discouraged when people warn you with home buying horror stories. If you find out some buyers delaying or changing their home buying timeline because of a specific problem, this doesn’t mean that their situation will automatically apply to you. Every home purchase is different, so don’t assume that things will end up badly when you see one or two aspiring buyers not doing well on their journey.

Although you need to be realistic with the house you can afford to buy, this doesn’t mean that you should settle for the next cheap house you see on the market. When people become exhausted or frustrated from their house-hunting efforts, they often begin to lower their standards. This way, they don’t have to experience the hassle of searching anymore.

If you’re getting annoyed about not finding the home you want, never settle for less. Take your time and be patient.

House hunting in a demanding real estate market can be a challenge for a lot of homebuyers. Once you’ve found an ideal property, chances are that someone else thinks that it’s ideal, too. This results in bidding wars, increased prices and raised stress due to competition.

Instead of getting annoyed at other homebuyers for wanting the same house, take steps to stand out from the crowd. Make offers that property sellers can’t refuse. Also, see if you could submit an offer that’s slightly above the listing price. This is helpful if you want to purchase a home that’s in demand.

The real estate market isn’t always constant or balanced. Sometimes, it favors sellers. Other times, the market favors buyers. Get familiar with how the housing market works in your area. This way, you’ll face fewer surprises and disappointments during the home purchasing process. What’s more, you’ll know the ideal time to proceed with your buying transactions.

Placing your best financial foot at the start of the home purchasing process is an effective way to infuse positive energy into the entire buying journey. Start by coming up with a realistic budget for a new home. Make sure that you take into account the following expenses:

Having a sound budget will give you a good grasp of the range of houses you should be viewing.

As you’re getting ready to buy, you’ll want to work on your financial health. A few measures you can do include:

Many dream of having a house of their own. Unfortunately, not everyone knows exactly what to look for in a house. When they can’t find what they want, they may likely settle for a residential property that isn’t ticking off all the boxes. Eventually, they’ll end up hating their new home before they even get to unpack.

So save yourself from frustration and disappointment by knowing exactly what you want in your dream home.

A good way to do this is to create a vision board. Start by pasting a picture of a dream home on the board.

Alternatively, you could put photos of the various parts of your dream house, such as the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. Then, add specific details to these areas. You could, for instance, write down that you want a sofa, a coffee table and hardwood flooring in your ideal living room.

By creating a vision board and putting up pictures of your dream home, you’re training your mind to stay focused on what you want to achieve.

A positive mindset makes a lot of difference when finding and buying a great home. When you need further motivation, get someone to guide you through this life-changing journey.

Four Ways To Protect Your Patient’s Privacy

Four Ways To Protect Your Patient’s Privacy

Running your own medical clinic is hard, but when you are dealing with a breach of data and your patient’s details have been exposed, that’s when things get really rough. Data security is so important for patients in a medical setting that there is even a specific act that protects everyone: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Also known as HIPAA, this act protects the rights of everyone receiving medical care by binding healthcare providers in confidence. 

If you are running your own clinic, then you should know that data security is one of the most important things in which you can invest. You can add a measure of safety by restricting the access that people have to your data. So, within your organization, ensuring only certain trusted parties should have full access to confidential records and adding extra password protection to it will also help. Patient safeguards have always existed, and you need to avoid a lawsuit by protecting your patients the best way that you can. Along with good ERP software for enterprise, you can use these four following points to protect the privacy of your patients. Let’s take a close look at what you can do:

Blue and Silver Stetoscope

Image Source: Pexels

People Over Data

You are a business, yes, but you are also supposed to be compassionate in what you do. If you ensure that you are thinking about the people who are able to access the restricted information, you’re going to do better for your patients. There are over 100 million patient records exposed every year, but you can avoid it if you limit how many people in your business have access to that data in the first place. 

Get Everyone In On Security

It’s so easy to forget that your data is more than just the electronic records. We need to think about software for protection and data analysis, sure, but we need to think about the other way that patients could be exposed. Their physical details on paperwork and files can be at as much risk as the electronic records. You need to promote a security culture in your business, and you can do it by implementing proper training on data security.

Let Patients Have Their Own Access

Patients may want to see their own records, and so should they – it’s their information after all! You can make sure that they have the access they want by providing them with a secure app to access their information, or you can allow them their own password and username to log in from home.

Make HIPAA The Norm

You need to remember that it’s people you are dealing with. HIPAA is not something to tick off as “done”, it should be the center of yoru clinic and your policies. Provide training on it and raise better awareness – it’s the best thing that you can do for your patients, and you can create a culture of safety.

People want to feel safe and with the tips above, you can do exactly that.

Moving Abroad: What to Consider

Moving Abroad: What to Consider

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Planning to move abroad is drastically different to visiting a destination as a tourist – it’s a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The preparation involved with moving abroad can often be stressful, so we’ve compiled a short guide to help simplify all of the vital considerations that you’ll need to make before finalising your decision. 

Visa and Residency

If you’re in the early stage of moving abroad, the first most important aspects that you’ll need to consider is your Visa or residency permit. Visas allow people into the country, for example tourists or those wishing to work, whereas residency permits are for when you plan to live in the country long term (not to be confused with citizenship). 

Your home country will have certain agreements with the country you are planning to move to in terms of the types of permits you will need to live, work, or study there. Make sure you thoroughly understand the intricacies and legalities of the process, for example what you will need and require to pass. If you are an immigrant who is planning to live and work in the US, you’ll need to ensure that you have a green card issued through USCIS processing before you move. 

Employment 

Understandably, you’ll need to have employment lined up in your chosen country in order to support yourself and your loved ones if necessary. Unless you are financially stable with savings or passive income, or you are married/in a civil partnership with someone from the country you are moving to, you will be required to provide proof of employment when applying for residency. This will usually be in the form of a work contract or other evidence that you earn income as a freelancer. 

Accommodation 

To avoid any financial issues while living abroad, ensure to be realistic in line with your budget, and take care to understand any accommodation contracts and check reviews online if necessary. If possible, view your accommodation in person or at least through a video tour, and never send funds to anyone before signing your contract. 

Health Insurance 

If you are an EU resident or an EU citizen, then you will most likely have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is issued by your home country. This entitles you to emergency health care in any of the other EU member countries, meaning you won’t be left in a vulnerable position if you need medical attention. Each country has its own unique regulations regarding entitlement to health care, so be sure to research this in depth. 

Transporting your Belongings 

Make a practical plan of what you are planning to take and decide how you will be transporting your important belongings. People moving abroad most commonly use the likes of sea freight as a cost-efficient way to transport their goods, while some prefer to use air freight. In terms of your new home, it’s worthwhile to outweigh the financial pros and cons of transporting furniture and household items or choosing to rent them in the new country. 

How To Spend Less Money On Your Car

How To Spend Less Money On Your Car

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As you probably know very well, owning a car is far from cheap at the best of times. First, there’s actually purchasing your car, and then you’ve got to think about costly aspects such as fuel, upkeep and repairs. For many people, a car has become an essential part of everyday life, so how can you reduce these costs and save as much money on your car as possible?

Little by little

One of the best pieces of advice you can take is to always take care of a problem with your car as it comes up. A slight rattling noise may be a small problem and be a fairly cheap repair. However, ignoring it could turn into a larger problem that would cost you much more or even worse, damage your car beyond repair. Even resolving smaller issues such as replacing your headlight bulb will help spread the cost of maintenance on your car and prevent you from having to find large sums of money in one go.

Learn more about your car

Even if you’re not much of a car fanatic, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your car. Different brands of cars come with unique features and knowing what they do and when they’re supposed to do them can help you take better care of your car – and your money!

You should also consider learning how to self-service your car to keep it in peak condition:

  • Learn how to top up and change the oil in your car. It’s an essential part of a car’s function and could save you a lot of money.
  • Pump up your tyres regularly. Your car should have come with a handbook which can give you direct instructions on how to do this.
  • Keep your coolant topped up. Again, this is an easy task that could save you tonnes of money.
  • Have a battery charger at home. It’s not unusual for car batteries to go flat from time to time, so having one at home can save you the hassle of calling for help. Alternatively, having a spare battery at home can do the same thing. powRparts and many other motor retailers can provide you with everything you need.

Consider finance or leasing

With finance and lease cars, you’ll often be required to take your car back to your dealer for servicing and repairs. The cost of this is often included in the price you’re paying for your car and can save the worry of having to find extra money if your car breaks down. Remember to check this is an included extra when taking out a finance or lease car.

Drive more efficiently

Finally, driving more efficiently will help you in two ways. Firstly, you’ll be saving money on fuel whilst helping the environment. Secondly, you’ll be reducing the chance of damaging your car whilst driving. Take on a more efficient way of driving and save yourself the worry of your car breaking down and breaking the bank.

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