Tag: Offers

Find the Best Small Business Credit Cards – Compare 133 Card Offers #search #business

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What SBA Offers to Help Small Businesses Grow #business #school #rankings


#small business help

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What does SBA offer to small business owners? The programs are many and varied, and the qualifications for each are specific. SBA can help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you find venture capital. Understanding how SBA works is the first step towards receiving assistance.

SBA’s Role

SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing.

Guaranteed Loan Programs (Debt Financing)

SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Rather, SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty. SBA-guaranteed loans may not be made to a small business if the borrower has access to other financing on reasonable terms.

SBA loan guaranty requirements and practices can change as the Government alters its fiscal policy and priorities to meet current economic conditions. Therefore, you can’t rely on past policy when seeking assistance in today’s market.

Bonding Program (Surety Bonds)

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program helps small business contractors who cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels.

A surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract. If the contractor is unable to successfully perform the contract, the surety assumes the contractor’s responsibilities and ensures that the project is completed.

Through the SBG Program, the SBA makes an agreement with a surety guaranteeing that SBA will assume a percentage of loss in the event the contractor should breach the terms of the contract. The SBA’s guarantee gives sureties an incentive to provide bonding for eligible contractors, thereby strengthening a contractor’s ability to obtain bonding and greater access to contracting opportunities for small businesses.

SBA can guarantee bonds for contracts up to $5 million, covering bid, performance and payment bonds, and in some cases up to $10 million for certain contracts.

Venture Capital Program

SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private investment partnership created to help fill the gap between the availability of growth capital and the needs of small businesses. The SBA does not invest directly in small businesses, relying instead on the expertise of qualified private investment funds. The SBA licenses these funds as SBICs and supplements the capital they raise from private investors with access to low-cost, government-guaranteed debt.

With these two sources of capital backing them, SBICs search across the United States for promising businesses in need of debt or equity financing. SBICs are similar to other investment funds in terms of how they operate and their pursuit of high returns. However, unlike other funds, SBICs limit their investments to qualified small business concerns as defined by SBA regulations.


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What SBA Offers to Help Small Businesses Grow #business #stationery


#small business help

#

What does SBA offer to small business owners? The programs are many and varied, and the qualifications for each are specific. SBA can help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you find venture capital. Understanding how SBA works is the first step towards receiving assistance.

SBA’s Role

SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing.

Guaranteed Loan Programs (Debt Financing)

SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Rather, SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty. SBA-guaranteed loans may not be made to a small business if the borrower has access to other financing on reasonable terms.

SBA loan guaranty requirements and practices can change as the Government alters its fiscal policy and priorities to meet current economic conditions. Therefore, you can’t rely on past policy when seeking assistance in today’s market.

Bonding Program (Surety Bonds)

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program helps small business contractors who cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels.

A surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract. If the contractor is unable to successfully perform the contract, the surety assumes the contractor’s responsibilities and ensures that the project is completed.

Through the SBG Program, the SBA makes an agreement with a surety guaranteeing that SBA will assume a percentage of loss in the event the contractor should breach the terms of the contract. The SBA’s guarantee gives sureties an incentive to provide bonding for eligible contractors, thereby strengthening a contractor’s ability to obtain bonding and greater access to contracting opportunities for small businesses.

SBA can guarantee bonds for contracts up to $5 million, covering bid, performance and payment bonds, and in some cases up to $10 million for certain contracts.

Venture Capital Program

SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private investment partnership created to help fill the gap between the availability of growth capital and the needs of small businesses. The SBA does not invest directly in small businesses, relying instead on the expertise of qualified private investment funds. The SBA licenses these funds as SBICs and supplements the capital they raise from private investors with access to low-cost, government-guaranteed debt.

With these two sources of capital backing them, SBICs search across the United States for promising businesses in need of debt or equity financing. SBICs are similar to other investment funds in terms of how they operate and their pursuit of high returns. However, unlike other funds, SBICs limit their investments to qualified small business concerns as defined by SBA regulations.


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Prejudgment Interest and the Interplay With C #offers #in #compromise


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Prejudgment Interest and the Interplay With C.C.P. Section 998 Offers to Compromise

Prejudgment interest can have a sizeable effect on the recovery of damages in California. Pursuant to Civil Code section 3287, a party is entitled to recover prejudgment interest where the damages are “certain” or “capable of being made certain by calculation” from the time the right to recover arises. (Civ. C. § 3287(a).) One purpose of the award is to make the party whole as of the date of the initial injury. (Lakin v. Watkins Associated Industries (1993) 6 Cal.4th 644, 663.)

The test for determining “certainty” is whether the defendant actually knows the amount owed or could have computed the amount from reasonably available information. (Wisper Corp. v. California Commerce Bank (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 948, 960.) However, where the amount of damages is in dispute (i.e. cannot be resolved except by verdict or judgment), an award of prejudgment interest is not appropriate. (Id. ) For example, in Iverson v. Spang Industries (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 303, the landlord sued a former tenant for damages to the rented premises. The tenant disputed the cost of repair.

The recoverable interest rate depends on the nature of the claim. For breach of contract claims, the legal rate specified in the contract applies until the contract is superseded by the verdict. (Civ. C. § 3289.) If the prejudgment interest rate is not specified in the contract, the rate is ten percent per annum from the date of the breach. (Id. ) For tort and other non-contractual claims, the interest rate is seven percent per annum from the date the claim arose. (Children’s Hosp. Med. Ctr. v. Bonta (2002) 94 Cal.App.4th 740, 775.) However, post-judgment interest accrues on the unpaid principal amount of the judgment at the rate of ten percent per annum from the date of entry of judgment. (C.C.P. § 685.010.)

Prejudgment interest can come into play when analyzing C.C.P. § 998 offers and the “cost shifting” consequences associated with the offers. Pursuant to Civil Code § 3291, prejudgment interest begins to run from the date of the § 998 offer.

Civil Code § 3291 provides that if, in a tort action, the plaintiff makes an offer pursuant to C.C.P. § 998, the defendant does not accept the offer, and the plaintiff obtains a more favorable judgment at trial, then the plaintiff may recover prejudgment interest. (Civ. C. § 3291.) It must be stressed that to be entitled to prejudgment interest, the plaintiff must receive “a more favorable judgment” than her offer to compromise. If the plaintiff fails to satisfy this prerequisite (i.e. she did not obtain a more favorable judgment than her compromise offer), then she is not entitled to recover prejudgment interest. “The plain language of section 3291 provides for a simple comparison in personal injury cases between the judgment and the offer to compromise. If the judgment is “more favorable,” the plaintiff is eligible for prejudgment interest on the damages attributable to personal injury. (Latkin v. Watkins Associated Industries (1993) 6 Cal.4th 644, 662-663, fn. 13.)

Prejudgment interest has a different effect where a plaintiff turns down a defendant’s § 998 offer and fails to obtain a “more favorable” judgment at trial. In Bodell Constr. Co. v. Trustees of California State University (1992) 62 Cal.App.4th 1508, the court held that prejudgment interest accrued before the defendant made a § 998 offer counts in determining whether the judgment is “more favorable” than the offer. However, interest accruing after the offer (i.e. post-offer interest) does not apply. (Id. at 1526.)

Bodell was decided under the pre-1997 version of § 998, which distinguished between contract and tort actions, thus its holding was limited to non-tort (i.e. contract) actions. Since the statute no longer distinguishes between contract and tort actions, presumably Bodell applies equally when prejudgment interest is recoverable in a tort action. Thus, prejudgment interest accruing before the date of the defendant’s § 998 offer is included when determining whether plaintiff obtained a “more favorable” judgment. Interest accruing post-offer, however, is not considered.

Prejudgment interest can add thousands of dollars to the rejecting party’s liability. Thus, it is important to take prejudgment interest into account to make an informed C.C.P. § 998 offer.

Download the full article here.


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Credit Cards – Apply for Best Offers Online at #credit #card, #credit #offers #2017,

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Credit Card Applications Online

About Credit-Land

Consumers are bombarded with over a billion credit card offers each year, promising everything from cash back and zero-interest to free airfare and luxury hotel stays. How are consumers supposed to know which offers fit their needs?

Capital One. Citibank. Discover Card. Barclaycard – you know the names, but do you know the difference? All of them want you to carry their cards, and all of them have great-sounding offers, so how to choose?

Credit card companies want your business, so they advertise their best features – CASH BACK, FREE FLIGHTS, SIGN-UP BONUS, ZERO-PERCENT INTEREST – but they may not be so forthcoming about the full terms and conditions. Consumers may not consider the long-term cost of a credit card when they are tempted with instant gratification and freebies galore.

That’s where Credit-Land.com comes in. Our group of finance experts sort through all the offers so you don’t have to read terms and conditions and stay on the lookout for the best new deals we feature, biggest bonuses, lowest interest rates, and news you need to know. We’ll tell you which offers are too good to pass up and which may not be as good as they sound – and we’ll tell you why.

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BALANCE TRANSFER CALCULATOR

Carrying a balance? Find out how much you’ll save – and how much faster you’ll pay it off – by transferring your balance to a new card.

CREDIT SCORE SIMULATOR

See possible changes to your credit score if you close your credit card, pay off the card balance, or if you get a new card.

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COMPARE CREDIT OFFERS

FOR PEOPLE WITH PERFECT CREDIT HISTORY

If you have excellent credit history. then the best credit card offers are yours for the taking. Earn cash back, plane tickets, hotel stays, discounts on gas, gift cards, and more – all for making the everyday purchases you’d make anyway. Credit-Land.com will help you pick the card that gives you rewards you can use and make your card work for you. Make your money go further and get awesome rewards when you find the perfect credit card for your excellent credit history.

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Low interest rates, zero-percent balance transfers, zero-percent on purchases, and credit cards with no annual fee – whatever promotional offer you’re looking for, find it at Credit-Land.com. We have access to the newest and best offers from major credit card issuers, and your good credit history puts you a step ahead of the game when it comes to getting approved for these great money-saving offers.

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If your credit falls into the fair or limited category, you may think that good credit card offers are out of reach for you. While it’s true that the very best offers won’t be available, our experts can show you cards that can help you take advantage of the best offers for fair or limited credit. A prepaid card or a credit card for fair credit may be the best option for you while you work on repairing your credit, as long as you make on time payments to all creditors and keep balances low relative to the credit limit. We’ll show you which card fits your needs.

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Got bad credit, or no credit at all? Don’t despair. We can help you find a card to help you establish or rebuild your credit and reach your financial goals. You may rebuild your credit history by making payments to all your creditors on time and keeping account balances low relative to the credit limit. Whether you’re looking for a student card, a secured card, or a guaranteed or instant approval card, we have an offer that will work for you.

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All content. Copyright 2000-2017. Credit-Land.com. All rights reserved.

* See the online credit card applications for details about terms and conditions of credit card offers. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the “Apply Now” button you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card issuer’s web site. Information in these articles is brought to you by www.Credit-Land.com. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

* The Credit-Land.com webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. Credit-Land.com does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click “Apply” for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer’s website. All logos on the Credit-Land.com website are property of their respective owners.

Credit-Land.com is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Credit-Land.com receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. Credit-Land.com has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Please note that Credit-Land.com has financial relationships with some of the merchants mentioned here. Credit-Land.com may be compensated if consumers choose to utilize the links located throught the content on this site and generate sales for the said merchant.


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Credit Cards – Compare Best Card Offers & Apply Online #get #a #credit #cards,

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Compare partner credit card offers from our most
popular categories

How to choose a credit card

When looking to get a credit card, there are a variety of things you should consider. If you want a rewards card to use frequently, you might not mind paying a $100 or $200 annual fee. You should also consider the regular APR (as opposed to the introductory rate) and the interest rate. A good interest rate is dependent on how you will use the card. For example, a 20% interest rate is fine if you plan on paying off the balance every month.

It pays to ask these kinds of questions before you fill out the application form. Here are 9 questions you want answered before you sign on the dotted line.

The “very first question” the consumer should ask is, “Why am I applying for this card? Why do I need this card?” says Bruce McClary, media director for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a nonprofit affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Some positive reasons: The card has low or no fees, a lower interest rate or offers a rewards program that suits your spending habits. “It has to make sense, and it has to fit into your overall lifestyle,” McClary says.

Do you pay off your credit card balances every month? If so, “you don’t care what the interest rate is because you won’t pay any,” says Ric Edelman, author of “The Truth About Money.” “But you care about the (annual) fee,” he says.

If you run a balance, you want the lowest rate you can get, even if that comes with an annual fee.
One clue to your usage: “Look at your past history,” says Edelman. “Because what you’ve done before is what you will be doing.”

If you’re shopping for a card, chances are you’re comparing card terms. But if an issuer sends you an offer, it’s tempting to apply and see what you get.

“It’s really difficult to pick one (in isolation),” says Kelly Rogers, chief development officer for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County and adjunct faculty at Chapman University. “If someone just shows you one car, how do you know if it’s the right car for you?”

Her advice: Do a side-by-side comparison of several different cards before you apply.

Don’t be afraid to plug the card name, “complaints” and “customer service” into your favorite search engine. “I go through and see who has the least amount of complaints and issues,” says Rogers.

Some cards will give you a range of rates you could get, but often that window is pretty wide, says Nick Bourke, director of the Safe Credit Card Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Other cards may offer a specific rate (or terms) and either approve or reject you.

If you’re operating totally in the dark, you have another option: Apply by phone and push for an answer on your rate and credit line before the account is opened.

While there are no guarantees, sometimes you can get an answer, says Bourke.
“I’ve actually done this myself,” he says, admitting “you do have to go pretty far in the process.”
You may have to ask for the department that’s actually evaluating your application to get an answer, he says.

“The thing that you want to do is when you’re talking to the person on the phone taking your application is you want to push them as hard as you can to get your APR and credit line,” Bourke says. Then, once you have the information and before the account is opened in your name, “you can say yes or no at that point,” he says.

According to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, if a card offers a lower interest rate during an introductory period, the promotional rate has to last at least six months. While that introductory offer may be appealing, the regular rate is what you’re really buying.

So find out when the introductory APR expires and what the new rate will be. You can find this information online in the terms and conditions for the card or you can ask a service representative.

Another smart question: How long is that grace period? “Some cards start charging interest immediately,” says Edelman. A card can have different grace periods for balance transfers and cash advances than it does for purchases.

You can find information about the grace period in the credit card offer, thanks to federal rules that took effect in 2010. Look for a summary table of rate and fee disclosures, which will include a statement that explains how to avoid paying interest.

If you’re getting the card for points or rewards, this is one you definitely need to ask, says Josh Frank, senior researcher with the Center for Responsible Lending. Some issuers will revoke rewards if you’re late with a payment by even one day, he says.

“A lot of times, the answer they will give you is that they can take away or reduce your rewards for any reason,” he says. While that’s true, the issuer will have a policy on revoking or reducing points, and that’s what you want to ask about, he says. Under what specific circumstances would they reduce or eliminate a customer’s points?

In most cases, “this is one the customer service agent should know the answer to,” he says.

Some card issuers use your purchase records to assess your ongoing creditworthiness.

That means if you suddenly use your card to purchase retread tires, pay for a session with a marriage counselor or make a purchase at a market on a sketchy side of town, you could see your APR climb or your credit limit fall, says Frank. If you see this practice as an invasion of privacy, ask beforehand if the issuer does this, he says.

How to phrase it: Can my transactions ever be used in rating my credit risk?

And that’s one question the customer service representative “might not know the answer to,” says Frank. “You might want to ask them to transfer you to the credit department manager.”

If you are guaranteeing a card account by co-signing for a college student, ask if you will be on the hook for the debt after the other party turns 21, says Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center.

Many times, “there is nothing to prevent the issuers from saying you’re going to be guaranteeing this card 15 years from now — long after junior is out of college,” she says.

In addition, find out exactly what has to be done to get you off the account. Are you free to complete those steps yourself? Or will you need the cooperation of someone who might not want you — and those charging privileges — to go away?

Federal regulations limit your liability for unauthorized credit card charges to $50 if you report it within two business days. The longer you wait, the more you may lose. Many issuers cap losses at zero dollars, provided you follow a few rules. So find out how the card would handle charges you didn’t make, says McClary.

Also, does the issuer monitor usage and shut down the card if it sees out-of-the-ordinary charges or spending locations? That feature can be great if you always use the card for the same types of purchases in the same geographic area, but cumbersome if you’re getting the card for travel.

While it sounds counterproductive, you want to ask some detailed questions on how the issuer will treat you if you run into financial problems, says McClary.

Will you lose points or benefits? Will you be hit with late fees or a penalty rate? Ask what those penalties are or look online at the terms and conditions for the card.

Some issuers have programs to slash interest temporarily for customers who get behind, he says. Others don’t. So find out ahead of time what kind of programs the issuer offers that will help you rehabilitate your account and restore your original terms, McClary says.

Ask about the “worst case scenario,” he says. “When do they consider an account to be charged off? And when do they send an account to a collection agency?”

“It may be a little tough to get a hold of that information because it might not be readily available at the customer service level,” says McClary. “You may have to punch it up a level.”

Bankrate’s best credit cards


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Credit Cards – Compare Best Card Offers & Apply Online #which #business #credit #card

#

Compare partner credit card offers from our most
popular categories

How to choose a credit card

When looking to get a credit card, there are a variety of things you should consider. If you want a rewards card to use frequently, you might not mind paying a $100 or $200 annual fee. You should also consider the regular APR (as opposed to the introductory rate) and the interest rate. A good interest rate is dependent on how you will use the card. For example, a 20% interest rate is fine if you plan on paying off the balance every month.

It pays to ask these kinds of questions before you fill out the application form. Here are 9 questions you want answered before you sign on the dotted line.

The “very first question” the consumer should ask is, “Why am I applying for this card? Why do I need this card?” says Bruce McClary, media director for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a nonprofit affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Some positive reasons: The card has low or no fees, a lower interest rate or offers a rewards program that suits your spending habits. “It has to make sense, and it has to fit into your overall lifestyle,” McClary says.

Do you pay off your credit card balances every month? If so, “you don’t care what the interest rate is because you won’t pay any,” says Ric Edelman, author of “The Truth About Money.” “But you care about the (annual) fee,” he says.

If you run a balance, you want the lowest rate you can get, even if that comes with an annual fee.
One clue to your usage: “Look at your past history,” says Edelman. “Because what you’ve done before is what you will be doing.”

If you’re shopping for a card, chances are you’re comparing card terms. But if an issuer sends you an offer, it’s tempting to apply and see what you get.

“It’s really difficult to pick one (in isolation),” says Kelly Rogers, chief development officer for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County and adjunct faculty at Chapman University. “If someone just shows you one car, how do you know if it’s the right car for you?”

Her advice: Do a side-by-side comparison of several different cards before you apply.

Don’t be afraid to plug the card name, “complaints” and “customer service” into your favorite search engine. “I go through and see who has the least amount of complaints and issues,” says Rogers.

Some cards will give you a range of rates you could get, but often that window is pretty wide, says Nick Bourke, director of the Safe Credit Card Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Other cards may offer a specific rate (or terms) and either approve or reject you.

If you’re operating totally in the dark, you have another option: Apply by phone and push for an answer on your rate and credit line before the account is opened.

While there are no guarantees, sometimes you can get an answer, says Bourke.
“I’ve actually done this myself,” he says, admitting “you do have to go pretty far in the process.”
You may have to ask for the department that’s actually evaluating your application to get an answer, he says.

“The thing that you want to do is when you’re talking to the person on the phone taking your application is you want to push them as hard as you can to get your APR and credit line,” Bourke says. Then, once you have the information and before the account is opened in your name, “you can say yes or no at that point,” he says.

According to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, if a card offers a lower interest rate during an introductory period, the promotional rate has to last at least six months. While that introductory offer may be appealing, the regular rate is what you’re really buying.

So find out when the introductory APR expires and what the new rate will be. You can find this information online in the terms and conditions for the card or you can ask a service representative.

Another smart question: How long is that grace period? “Some cards start charging interest immediately,” says Edelman. A card can have different grace periods for balance transfers and cash advances than it does for purchases.

You can find information about the grace period in the credit card offer, thanks to federal rules that took effect in 2010. Look for a summary table of rate and fee disclosures, which will include a statement that explains how to avoid paying interest.

If you’re getting the card for points or rewards, this is one you definitely need to ask, says Josh Frank, senior researcher with the Center for Responsible Lending. Some issuers will revoke rewards if you’re late with a payment by even one day, he says.

“A lot of times, the answer they will give you is that they can take away or reduce your rewards for any reason,” he says. While that’s true, the issuer will have a policy on revoking or reducing points, and that’s what you want to ask about, he says. Under what specific circumstances would they reduce or eliminate a customer’s points?

In most cases, “this is one the customer service agent should know the answer to,” he says.

Some card issuers use your purchase records to assess your ongoing creditworthiness.

That means if you suddenly use your card to purchase retread tires, pay for a session with a marriage counselor or make a purchase at a market on a sketchy side of town, you could see your APR climb or your credit limit fall, says Frank. If you see this practice as an invasion of privacy, ask beforehand if the issuer does this, he says.

How to phrase it: Can my transactions ever be used in rating my credit risk?

And that’s one question the customer service representative “might not know the answer to,” says Frank. “You might want to ask them to transfer you to the credit department manager.”

If you are guaranteeing a card account by co-signing for a college student, ask if you will be on the hook for the debt after the other party turns 21, says Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center.

Many times, “there is nothing to prevent the issuers from saying you’re going to be guaranteeing this card 15 years from now — long after junior is out of college,” she says.

In addition, find out exactly what has to be done to get you off the account. Are you free to complete those steps yourself? Or will you need the cooperation of someone who might not want you — and those charging privileges — to go away?

Federal regulations limit your liability for unauthorized credit card charges to $50 if you report it within two business days. The longer you wait, the more you may lose. Many issuers cap losses at zero dollars, provided you follow a few rules. So find out how the card would handle charges you didn’t make, says McClary.

Also, does the issuer monitor usage and shut down the card if it sees out-of-the-ordinary charges or spending locations? That feature can be great if you always use the card for the same types of purchases in the same geographic area, but cumbersome if you’re getting the card for travel.

While it sounds counterproductive, you want to ask some detailed questions on how the issuer will treat you if you run into financial problems, says McClary.

Will you lose points or benefits? Will you be hit with late fees or a penalty rate? Ask what those penalties are or look online at the terms and conditions for the card.

Some issuers have programs to slash interest temporarily for customers who get behind, he says. Others don’t. So find out ahead of time what kind of programs the issuer offers that will help you rehabilitate your account and restore your original terms, McClary says.

Ask about the “worst case scenario,” he says. “When do they consider an account to be charged off? And when do they send an account to a collection agency?”

“It may be a little tough to get a hold of that information because it might not be readily available at the customer service level,” says McClary. “You may have to punch it up a level.”

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What SBA Offers to Help Small Businesses Grow #business #card #holder


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What does SBA offer to small business owners? The programs are many and varied, and the qualifications for each are specific. SBA can help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you find venture capital. Understanding how SBA works is the first step towards receiving assistance.

SBA’s Role

SBA provides a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been specifically designed to meet key financing needs, including debt financing, surety bonds, and equity financing.

Guaranteed Loan Programs (Debt Financing)

SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses. Rather, SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners. So when a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty. SBA-guaranteed loans may not be made to a small business if the borrower has access to other financing on reasonable terms.

SBA loan guaranty requirements and practices can change as the Government alters its fiscal policy and priorities to meet current economic conditions. Therefore, you can’t rely on past policy when seeking assistance in today’s market.

Bonding Program (Surety Bonds)

SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program helps small business contractors who cannot obtain surety bonds through regular commercial channels.

A surety bond is a three-party instrument between a surety (someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another), a contractor and a project owner. The agreement binds the contractor to comply with the terms and conditions of a contract. If the contractor is unable to successfully perform the contract, the surety assumes the contractor’s responsibilities and ensures that the project is completed.

Through the SBG Program, the SBA makes an agreement with a surety guaranteeing that SBA will assume a percentage of loss in the event the contractor should breach the terms of the contract. The SBA’s guarantee gives sureties an incentive to provide bonding for eligible contractors, thereby strengthening a contractor’s ability to obtain bonding and greater access to contracting opportunities for small businesses.

SBA can guarantee bonds for contracts up to $5 million, covering bid, performance and payment bonds, and in some cases up to $10 million for certain contracts.

Venture Capital Program

SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private investment partnership created to help fill the gap between the availability of growth capital and the needs of small businesses. The SBA does not invest directly in small businesses, relying instead on the expertise of qualified private investment funds. The SBA licenses these funds as SBICs and supplements the capital they raise from private investors with access to low-cost, government-guaranteed debt.

With these two sources of capital backing them, SBICs search across the United States for promising businesses in need of debt or equity financing. SBICs are similar to other investment funds in terms of how they operate and their pursuit of high returns. However, unlike other funds, SBICs limit their investments to qualified small business concerns as defined by SBA regulations.


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