Travel Tips – Save Time and Money

I love traveling. I love seeing new cultures and places. I don’t, however, enjoy the amount of wasted time spent trying to get to/from all these wonderful places. I’m always amazed at how much time can be spent on the logistics of the trip taking away from the enjoyment (and time) actually involved in exploring these new places. Alas, help is here. I’ve found a few worthy tips to help save time and improve your sanity while traveling:

Global Entry

So, your bags are packed, you’ve arrived at the airport excited about your next destination only to find a massive line at airport security. You have time to make the gate but suddenly it’s getting tight and the stress begins. Airports are now offering all sorts of different ways to simplify the security process and I’ve found one solution that’s absolutely worth the time and money. It’s called Global Entry. The cool thing about Global Entry is this allows you to bypass some of the long international customs lines when returning to the States (especially from Canada and Mexico). And, on top of all this, it includes TSA Pre-check (a must have for almost all domestic airports in the US). TSA Pre-check not only commonly has a shorter line but it also allows you to skip removing your shoes and laptop making the security line go faster. Without a doubt I’ve made a couple of flights I wouldn’t have otherwise caught due to this and I’ve enjoyed a beverage at the gate (getting there early) rather than stressing with the standard airport security line. Global Entry costs $100 but is valid for 5 years (and includes TSA Pre-check which costs $85 anyway) so you’re essentially getting two valuable services for the price of one (for $20/year which is worth it if you make one trip a year).

Airline Upgrades

I consider myself a pretty frugal traveler always trying to get the experience at the lowest possible cost. Over time I’ve quickly realized this isn’t always ideal for the best travel experience. When I get back from my trip I’ll look back and regret not buying that unique item that wasn’t really that expensive from a street vendor and would be a great keepsake and I look back at some of the stress and discomfort I encountered. One option to reduce this is to pay a little bit more and enjoy some of the perks airlines often offer. One perk I’ve found invaluable is paying for a slight upgrade to the seat I’ve purchased. After I buy that deep discounted seat for a steal, why not spend a little more getting a seat with more legroom (even in Economy or Economy plus) to enjoy the trip to/from my destination? Airlines often offer upgrades when checking in or at the boarding gate that can allow you to get on-board early with your carry-on bag, use their airport lounge for a long layover and have a seat that provides more legroom or comfort. These are often well worth the additional expense. If you’re traveling, you want to enjoy the experience, right?

Skip the checked bags

If you’ve ever traveled to Europe you’ll quickly realize the generous luggage limits of the airlines in the States don’t apply – at all – to European airlines. Europeans travel lighter, gas costs more and airlines are very strict with your bags. Combine the additional expense (to check a bag) and the time (waiting for it to be delivered at baggage claim) combined with the additional weight to lug around on your trip and you will quickly realize the benefits of packing light in a carry-on (even if it means you may wear the same outfit twice, or, aghast! 4 times). So, you couldn’t pack your large bottle of shampoo or moisturizer. Every country I’ve ever visited has a ton of stores that sell something similar and allow you to skip the trouble of checking a bag. Just grab some necessities at your destination and enjoy the additional time you have skipping the wait (and weight) of your checked bag.

Duty free isn’t free

You’ve landed in London and have a few hours layover at the airport and can’t miss the duty free stores lit up everywhere. This can be a little bit of a misnomer. Duty free means you don’t pay the duty/tax (of that country) when purchasing a product. What it doesn’t mean is the product actually costs less in the country you’re headed to. They can mark-up the price of the product and it will cost less than on the street when duty is applied but that doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. A quick example, I was looking at a bottle of Jack Daniels at London Heathrow at Duty Free and it cost about $30 for the bottle (which is cheaper than on the streets of London) but when I land Stateside, I can get that same bottle at a liquor store (with duty applied) for about $20. Why drag that bottle back and pay $10 more on top? Be sure to do your research before you realize that steal of a deal wasn’t actually a deal at all.

Avoid currency exchange places – use your ATM card instead

Before you head off to that foreign land there’s always a tendency to want to make sure you have the right currency before you go. Try to hold off getting this currency until you get there! And don’t use a currency exchange at the airport. Find a local bank ATM in the country you’re visiting and use your ATM card (not your credit card cash advance where you start paying interest immediately) to pull out cash. You’ll save on the conversion fees and the conversion rate.

Skip the foreign transaction fees

I’ve just landed back home and going to enjoy all the things I bought along the way. I open up my credit card statement and see all of these additional charges for EVERY transaction. What? These are foreign transaction fees that are applied every time I’ve used my credit card (to handle the transaction and the currency conversion). These add up (often 1-3% of every purchase) and can be charged by the issuing bank AND the payment network. There are a multitude of credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees. Be sure to get one. You’ll thank your wallet later.

How to Get an Auto Loan with Bad Credit in the U.S.

Interested in how you’ll feel behind the wheel of your new car but worried about your credit score? Anxious about just how tough the terms might be? Well, we evaluate the process of getting an auto loan with a bad credit focusing on the research required and the background information that will give you an upper hand when approaching the negotiation table. 

Understanding Auto Loans in the USA

Automobile loans can be confusing especially when you are faced with bad credit scores. Usually, shoppers are faced with figuring out which one is the best deal on their financing. Understanding all the moving parts including the interest rates and the overall terms of the auto mobile loan is essential for getting the best deal even with a bad credit score. 

Automobile financing is understood to be a close-ended credit provided to service the purchasing of a new or used automobile. Products offered during automobile financing include either partial of full coverage for the cost of purchase. Financing usually comes from banks, original equipment manufacturing (OEM) companies, online lenders, and credit unions. 

Some of the terms you need to understand to help your automobile loan take shape include the: 

Annual Percentage Rate 

This is simply the interest rate that will be charged on the original amount borrowed- the principal. Note that most lenders add any closing costs to the principal further influencing just how much you will be repaying at the end of each month. 


This is the duration in which the loan will be serviced. Industry trends indicate that auto loan terms are getting longer and longer. This effectively means that the monthly repayments are getting lower and interests higher. Have the lender take you through the duration you are expected to service the loan. 

Tips for getting an auto loan with bad credit in the USA 

Know your credit score 

For lenders to assess your personal credit risk, they rely on your personal credit score. This information is contained in a credit report that details your recent financial history including previous loan payments, credit applications, and bankruptcies. 

To take charge of your bad credit, it is advisable to access your overall credit profile. In the United States, this information is available by the top credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax and scaled based on the FICO methodology. Additionally, you can utilize tools like myBankrate to access your profile all for free.

It goes without saying that you are required to do more than just check your credit score. Take action. Make intentional moves to repair your credit score including making overdue payments. If necessary, seek expert advice all aimed at getting you in a favorable position with auto loan lenders. 

Research, research, research 

Before you begin to shop for an auto loan or make a final decision on which auto loan fits your needs best, embark on extensive research. 

Your first task before approaching a lender is understanding what you can afford. Use online tools like the auto finance calculators to estimate what you can easily pay for. The calculator will provide you with a bigger picture including the loan term, annual percentage rates, and the down payment needed. Input these estimates into an affordability calculator to further breakdown just how much you can spend servicing you automobile loan. 

Next is choosing a vehicle. As in most cases, you may want to go with an older model than a newer one with high consumption. Even with budget considerations, make sure you take into account your personal needs and preferences. 

Once you have a vehicle in mind, take a look at your insurance options. This will be part of your overall monthly expense so it’s critical to get a gauge on how much you’ll have to pay for insurance on top of your car loan.

Lastly, shop around. Approach banks, credit unions, finance companies, and dealerships just to ensure you get the very best deal. Go online and look through direct-to-consumers lenders.  

Down payment plus trade in 

When faced with a bad credit profile, choosing to have a hefty down payment and trading in the older automobile may significantly improve your position. By going for either option, you are assured that the principal amount is lowered. Additionally, trading in the old car shows the lender your commitment to the current deal. 

Get a cosigner 

Nothing improves your position during the negotiations for an auto loan than having a cosigner. The consigner, hopefully one with a better credit profile, serves to improve the lender’s confidence. By cosigning the auto loan, they agree to repay the loan on your behalf in the case that you are incapable of servicing the loan or default. 

Find a dealership 

The right dealership will mean a swift process. It is important to remember that there is no pressure even with the poor credit profile. Go for reputable firms that are certified. Be upfront with the management and present all documentation. Most importantly, commit to fulfilling your end of your deal. 

A bad credit score does not have to mean the end of the road for auto mobile shoppers. With some research, a willingness to correct your credit score and expert advice, you can be on your way to partial or full financing of your automobile. 

How Online Auto Insurance Works In the U.S.

Auto insurance is a necessity for any household. Not only is it required by law but also coverages you in the case of medical bills and property damage.  In an attempt to remain competitive in the digital age, auto insurance companies have taken their businesses online providing automobile owners flexible and reasonable rates. A simple online search for a car insurance quote results in: paid ads by insurers including Geico, State Farm, Allstate and Progressive, third party companies specializing in contract negotiations and local businesses offering rate comparisons. We explore why you should consider an online auto insurance, how to get an online auto insurance quote and things you should look out for. 

Why choose an online auto insurance provider

  • It is relatively cheap. You can choose your coverage, source for quotations, make payments and compare coverages all in the comfort of your home. It is especially attractive to people with fewer assets needing less-complicated coverages, and who are price-sensitive. 
  • Choosing the online platform avails to you unbiased reviews of the company’s business. You get access to the pros and cons of their products long before you make the purchasing decision. 
  • As the online landscape is still new to most insurance companies, you may be able to take advantage of the multiple offers and discounts offered. In an attempt to remain competitive and attract buyers to their websites, insurance companies will run reward systems and offers making the car insurance bought online relatively cheaper.  
  • Buying an auto insurance can be rather daunting. Online auto insurance companies have, in light of this, created user-friendly interfaces that ease of the decision-making and ultimately the purchase. Reputable companies have invested in making the process seamless and the transactions safe. 

How to Get Online Auto Insurance Quotes

  • Figure out the location you will need to use while filling out the paper work

The term used for this during most applications the “garage location.” This implies the specific location where the vehicle getting the coverage will be parked most of the time. While this may be a no-brainer for individuals with just one car and one residence, automobile owners with multiple homes and vehicles may find it rather challenging. 

  • Find out the full information on the vehicle

While it is not necessary to give the agent your license plate number or details of your driver’s license, it is important to have the right information at hand. For most companies including , they will require you to have information on the make, model and year of the car at hand. You should also seek to know the vehicle identification number (VIN) before you reach out to the insurance company. Finally, most companies will require you to highlight any safety features and aftermarket features in each of the vehicles listed. Also of importance is information on the expected annual mileage, the vehicle’s primary use and the type of coverage you are looking for. 

  • Have ready any information on the driver(s)

When filling out the insurance coverage paperwork, you may be required to offer factual information on the driver and other individuals who’ll be handling the vehicle. You will need to have information on such inquiries as: how many miles you drive to work and back, particulars on the primary driver of the said vehicle, how long they have been drivers and finally the dates of any minor or major traffic violations by the said driver. Before a quote is drafted, you will also need to indicate the credit scores for all the drivers who will be handling the automobile. 

  • Search online for companies that offer quotes and connect with an independent agent

Finding the right company to get a quote from can be a hassle especially when you are looking to purchase your very first coverage. That is where an independent agent comes in. A quick search online of online auto insurance providers that offer free quotes churns out an overwhelming number. An independent agent will know which site provides the most accurate quote and compares all the quotes from the different companies. They’ll shop, compare and assemble all the information you require to get the best vehicle insurance coverage. 

What you should look for when choosing an online auto insurance coverage

  • A simple online application process
  • User-friendly account management tools
  • Availability of numerous integrated discounts for example multi-car or safe driver discounts
  • Ease in creating custom coverages
  • Availability of optional add-ons. These could range from a simple package of accident forgiveness to new car replacement. 
  • Go for direct to consumer insurers like Geico as not only do you get better packages, you can have your agent custom make an umbrella coverage. 
  • Seek to speak live to a representative instead of simply settling for the online quote that fits a standard situation. 

Even though the internet has made getting an auto insurance quote online rather easy and straight-forward, it can still be daunting especially for first-timers. Within just a few minutes, you can get rate-comparisons and quotes from multiple providers. Invest into getting the best online auto insurance quotes as they are a great tool to have in your research and price shop. 

Online Car Insurance Explained

Having your car insured is one of the best things you can do as a responsible car owner. It provides coverage not only for damage and loss on your part but also to affected persons as well, such as in the case of road mishaps. More importantly, it gives you peace of mind and an assurance that, should there be an incident on the road, you and other people affected will be insured. 

How does online car insurance work?

Online car insurance is an insurance policy captured online which handles expenses as a result of an accident, theft or third party liability. It is mandatory and it protects you from financial emergencies and legal liability resulting from collision, bodily injury and damage to you, your vehicle and other persons.  There are now various companies which offer car insurance online with low premiums to choose from. 

Benefits of online car insurance

There are many advantages if you purchase your car insurance policy online:

It requires no agents at all.

There is no need for a middleman such as an insurance agent or broker if you purchase car insurance online. You can easily search for car insurance companies and get quotes directly from them without having to go through the trouble of dealing with various agents. 

It is budget-friendly.

Securing your car insurance online saves you time and money. With just a few clicks you can easily contact car insurance companies to get an informed decision.  Also, since you’re dealing with car insurance companies directly you’ll save money since you don’t have to pay an agent or broker. 

There are online reviews to help you decide.

Confused with what car insurance company to choose? You need not worry as the internet has a rich resource of online reviews to help you decide. Check out a company’s customer ratings and what past clients are saying about their customer service and support.  Opt for a reputable car insurance company backed with years of experience in the industry. 

You can purchase anytime you want.

Buying car insurance online is convenient as you don’t have to adhere to office hours. You can access a car insurance company’s website anytime and you can buy car insurance regardless of the time of day. 

It has a fuss-free and user-friendly process.

Since you’re mostly doing the work yourself, purchasing car insurance online provides easy access and convenience.  There is no waiting time required in processing insurance documents and as a result, you’ll also be able to save more time and effort.  Also, your online financial transactions are secure. 

Disadvantages of online car insurance 

While there are benefits if you buy car insurance online it also has its disadvantages. These are:

You have to rely on your own expertise.

Since you’re buying your car insurance online it also means you’re a one-man army who has to rely on your own expertise. This can be a real struggle especially if it’s not really your cup of tea. You have to double your efforts in researching answers to your insurance-related inquiries since there is no agent to assist you. 

You have to file a claim on your own. 

As mentioned earlier, you’re doing everything alone and this also means filing claims on your own at a time of loss or accident. This can be hard as you tend to be in a lot of pressure and stress during such an unfortunate time. 

You have to be computer-savvy. 

Purchasing car insurance online can be stressful if you don’t have ample computer skills as you have to fill in all the needed information for your car insurance quote. 

You have to call an 800 number and an automated system. 

While there is ample information available online, still there will be times when you have to speak to a person through an 800 number to clarify insurance-related concerns.  However, this can be frustrating as you have to go through an automated system which can put you on hold at long intervals. 

Essential tips when buying online car insurance 

These are just some of the tips that will guide you in purchasing car insurance online:

  • Be sure to compare car insurance policies from at least a few companies.
  • Make sure that you know your requirements and the coverage you wish to buy.
  • Always use a car insurance calculator, an online tool that gives a rough estimate of your car insurance policy cost.
  • Be sure to declare the accurate insured declared value of your car. 
  • Price should not be your only basis when choosing your car insurance company.
  • Choose only relevant add-ons for your car insurance policy.
  • Take things slowly and don’t rush with your decisions.
  • Be sure to determine the cost of the policy for 12 months (they often have 6 month premiums)

With online car insurance, you are assured that expenses will be covered promptly. It also ensures that you, your loved ones and other people affected are covered in case of accident or theft.

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Professional Accountant

Starting a business can be overwhelming sometimes. It is easy to start one; especially if you already have a capital. The real challenge is how to make that business venture successful. The measure of success is not only based on how much you sell but how you manage your finances. This is where  employing an accountant can be very helpful. Accounting software is very well marketed as a solution but it rarely succeeds in determining all of the financial benefits your business can employ. Finding a qualified certified public accountant to help analyze relevant financial transactions of your company and determine the most cost effective means to conduct your business can be invaluable.

Below are the top 5 reasons why every company should employ a certified public accountant (CPA):


Save time and effort

Having to do all the paper works, monitoring your sales and expenses, and managing the business at the same time can be really time-consuming and tedious. Most businessmen think that hiring an accountant is expensive. But if you think how much time and effort you can save on dealing with your finances, you will soon realize the benefits certainly compensate for the cost. When you decide to start up your own business, your priority should be on running your business. While you are busy managing your business, your accountant will help you prepare your finances, save you money, and bring you peace of mind.

As an entrepreneur, your most concern is the day-to-day operations of the business. Your accountant can help you in managing the business, especially on the financial side and can objectively help you make decisions to upkeep the longevity and existence of your business.

Help with compliance

One of the major benefits of using a professional accountant is they are very knowledgeable of tax laws. A professional accountant can help ensure your business is compliant with these regulatory taxes. Aside from being an expert on taxation, a professional accountant understands regulatory laws which in turn save you money by advising you on the most tax efficient way of managing your business.

In-house financial advisor

An in-house accountant can be a great source of information and advice in helping you grow your business. For instance, an accountant can help you in the process of decision making by forecasting budgets and analyzing financial reports. They can guide you also on the cost analysis process by establishing and implementing policies and procedures. They can also provide financial statements that include trends, budgets, and forecasts. From these reports, you can then determine the  recommended actions to best manage your business.

Avoid an audit

Another reason why companies need accountants is to avoid the hassle of an audit. By taking the necessary steps to ensure you are following all tax laws, it can remove the headache and cost of an audit. Some of the reasons why businesses are being audited include mistakes on tax forms, excessive write-offs, too many charitable donations, and other red flags. Employing a professional accountant can help you avoid these mistakes. They know what expenses are allowed to be deducted as well as the threshold of these deductions. In addition, if ever the IRS request a substantiation of expenditures, your accountant can help you accurately provide these documents

Plan the future of your business

One of the major benefits of employing an accountant is to get an advice on how to plan for the future of your business. With the help of an accountant, previous financial reports can be analyzed in terms of profitability, liquidity, and seasonality. This analysis can help you in making sound financial and operational decisions for the future of your business.


For your business to become successful, both the growth and profitability of the business are important. Accountants can help determine the key components relevant in measuring the performance and success of the business. Think of hiring an accountant as a long-term partner who cares for your business and keeps it fiscally sound.

Life Insurance 101

What will be the best type of life insurance to stick to? The answer depends on multiple circumstances and conditions, some of which include the duration of the contract, the price, and the withdrawal option.

The most common types of life insurance are term life insurance, whole life insurance and universal life insurance.

Term life insurance is usually convenient for an average citizen, as it is the cheapest one. It is limited to a definite time period. If the insured person doesn’t die during these years, the policy expires without any payout option. Whole life insurance, together with other permanent policies, is the one which eventually gains value. Universal life insurance provides regular payments and a fixed death benefit.


Term Life Insurance

It is a temporary insurance, which lasts several years. Before you stick to this type of insurance contract, think about two major aspects: amount of time and amount of money. Among the advantages of this system is the fact that it’s the cheapest insurance, affordable for everyone. The biggest disadvantage is a high chance of outliving your policy. If you decide to renew the process after the expiration, you might have to pay more due to your older age and worse health condition. For term life insurance, policies usually last from 10 to 35 years. This is the death only insurance, which means that it covers mortgage reliability, funeral costs, and some other family’s expenses.

Whole Life Insurance

This is a permanent insurance contract. The most important thing is to pay, and the insured person has nothing to worry about. The amounts of your payments don’t change. You receive a 100% guarantee of «cash value» investment component return. The total sum of the death benefit is unchangeable. One obvious advantage of whole life insurance is that it is valid throughout your life. But the downside is its price, of course.


Those are the main types of contracts. Let’s take a closer look at the variations of policies with their own nuances and special points.


Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

According to their policies, the amount of regular payment is the same, and they guarantee a fixed death benefit. The most important condition is to make timely payments. Otherwise, a person can lose the contract. A good thing that it costs less than whole life insurance. But missing a payment might mean the loss of benefit. The cash value is insignificant or absent.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

An interesting thing about this kind of insurance is that its value depends on a stock market index. The amount may vary throughout the whole period of the contract. An obvious perk is that the cash value eventually grows. The drawback is that there are no guarantees on a final benefit amount.

The amounts of your gains are also limited, and you can not get more than it is stated in your contract. Even if the growth is 15%, but your cap is 10%, you only get 10%.

This policy also has a flexible payments system. For example, you are allowed to skip a payment once in a while, as long as your cash value is enough to cover the costs.

Variable Universal Life Insurance / Variable Life Insurance

With this kind of insurance, the beneficiary’s cash value is tied to investment accounts. It is exposed to market fluctuation and can result in different final amounts. Big gains, as well as losses, are possible here. The insured person can take advantage of the cash value: withdraw money or take loans. What can be a bit risky, is the fact that you need to control the amount of your cash value, as it changes day to day. Before the payment converts into your cash value, all sorts of taxes and fees are deducted from it.


Underwriting Different Life Insurance Types

If the policy is underwritten, this means that your insurance company takes a decision on how much you will have to pay on a regular basis.

It is necessary to be examined by a doctor before you get insured. The life insurance is fully underwritten when you are healthy or have just a few insignificant issues. The healthier you are the less you pay.

When you fill in the application you will have to indicate the information about your and your family’s health story, your hobbies (especially extreme kinds of sports) and travel plans.

Life expectancy is deducted according to this underwriting, and the insurance company sets the amount of regular payments.

In some cases, you will not be obliged to take a full examination. Instead of it, you will be asked some questions about your health. There is a high chance that your request can be rejected depending on your answers.

In another case, the candidate takes no medical exam, has no interviews, and cannot be turned down. This insurance plan is the most expensive of all with relatively small amounts to be paid back (up to $100,000). Additionally, if the person dies during the first years after signing the contract, there is only a small part of the sum paid to the beneficiaries.


Other Types of Life Insurance

Mortgage life insurance: Only the current balance is covered, and the payment doesn’t go to the family, but to the lender.

Credit life insurance: Covers only a certain loan. It the person dies, the lender receives the money instead of the family.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment: It means that beneficiaries only get the payment if the insured person died because of an accident. If the accident resulted in any handicap, payments are also possible.

Joint life insurance: It is the situation when both spouses sign one contract. In one case, the spouse gets the payment after the first one has died. In another case, the beneficiaries (more often — children) get the payment in case of death of both spouses.

Health Care Options in the U.S.

Health care institutions of the US are represented by various associations. Many health care clinics are privately owned, and only 21% of them belong to the government. As reported by the world health organization, the US is the leader of the world’s spend on health care in comparison to any other country in the world. The US healthcare system stands out among other progressive countries of the world. It is one of the rare countries, which doesn’t have a universal health care system. Additionally, the US has no universal health care insurance, and they recently enacted regulation, making health care coverage mandatory for almost every citizen.

A high price is one of the main reasons why most Americans find it troublesome to access a decent health service. Those who have a relatively low income have declared that they prefer not to:

  • visit a doctor when they feel sick
  • get a test when recommended
  • have a routine dental checkup
  • fill a prescription

A health maintenance organization now requires anyone to select a PCP – primary care provider – a physician who practices general medicine and will be a gatekeeper for the patient. As a rule, they are the first to be visited in case of an undiagnosed disease and in order to get further instructions. They collect primary symptoms, provide a physical examination and treat common illnesses. In case of a serious disease, they direct the patient to a certain specialist and provide the list of necessary procedures to follow (e.g.: blood tests, scannings, etc.). After all necessary data is collected, the PCP comes up with a diagnosis and recommendations on treatment, diet, and general patient’s habits for correction.

Before You Start Any Health Care Plan

Before you choose any program, take your time to read the policy description and pay attention to the details. Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as possible, until you clearly understand your coverage.

Ask your agent the following questions:

  • Can I select any doctor, pharmacy or hospital for my personal preference?
  • Does the plan cover 100% of all my prescribed medication?
  • Does the insurance cover dentists’, dermatologists’ and eye doctors’ services?
  • According to my plan, are special conditions covered (e.g.: psychiatric care, physical therapy or pregnancy)?
  • Is home care covered by this insurance plan?
  • Do I have to make any co-payments?
  • Are there any disputes about bills and services? How are they regulated?
  • What is the maximum sum I have to pay to cover costs out of pocket?
  • What is the percentage of deductibles?

N.B.: Deductibles mean a certain amount of money a patient pays before the insurance company pays their claim. Do not confuse deductibles with co-payments. These are the payments you make when you get a prescription or receive medical services.

Which Health Insurance Plan to Choose

Below the most popular insurance programs. At first glance, their names may seem to be an alphabet soup, but after a few minutes of analysis, you will realize the main differences between them and the essential benefits of each plan.


Health Maintenance Organization plans offer a wide choice of services for patients. You are likely to be insured for a wide range of health services as compared to other coverage plans. As soon as you subscribe to their services, you will have to choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP), who will generally take care of your treatment and prescriptions. Other specialists are available only after receiving a referral from your PCP.

Generally, those who opt for this kind of insurance, have lower expenses and minimal co-payments. You are not obliged to submit your own claims to the insurance company. Please note you will not receive coverage if you use services of an out-of-network professional or if you get any service without your physician’s recommendation.


Preferred Provider Organization plan is a type of insurance with “preferred” providers within your location. They will not obligate you to choose a PCP and you will not need a referral for seeing a specialist. Here you will only have to pay a certain amount of a total bill according to your plan. In case you visit a specialist out of the recommended network, you will pay a larger part of your final bill than you would have to pay if you visited a preferred doctor in your network. But still, a certain percentage of your expenses will be covered. Co-payments for services generally vary between $10 and $30.


Point of Service is a combination of two plans: HMO and PPO. Here, you will have to get a referral from a physician to receive any special treatment. But, you will get more coverage in case you visit hospitals and doctors within your network. You will, however, be less insured if you get any service form the providers out of your network. You may also have additional co-payments and deductibles on a yearly basis.


Exclusive Provider Network also has some similarities with PPO and HMO plans. As a rule, EPO is a more flexible plan than an HMO, and it is cheaper than a PPO. When you stick to this type of insurance, keep in mind that you don’t need PCP’s referrals. As with an HMO, you will have to pay out of your own pocket if you choose a doctor who provides services outside of your network. EPO is a great option if you want to see a specialist without a referral from your general physician.

Other Items to Consider

Other specific plans include Long-Term Care service (LTC). This is valuable for older people concerned about potential chronic illnesses.

Catastrophic Health plans are aimed to support people in case of unexpected health issues in case of an emergency.

People with disabilities can take advantage of special government programs to get help with their health needs. These programs differ depending on the location, so it is necessary to consult local officials for more information.

U.S. Auto Insurance Quotes Online

What are Auto Insurance Quotes?

An auto insurance quote is a document that outlines the potential coverage an individual can get for use of a specific automobile. The coverage pertains specifically to that individual and can help with the liability in case of an auto accident.

Benefits of Online Auto Insurance Quotes

(1) Multiple Transmissions of Data: A significant advantage of online auto insurance quotes is that an input of one’s personal information at a single time can be used to access many insurance carriers. Instead of making another entry of the same personal information per transaction with an insurance carrier, internet platform makes the one-entry data of personal information to be copied for other insurance carriers. Online purchase of Auto Insurance Quotes put time maximization and utility highly into consideration.

(2.) Good Decision through Comparison: The internet has access to many insurance carriers that are available for insurance transactions. By going online to get insurance quotes gives you access to critically assess and compare the various insurance quotes that are being presented to you. If you have many options to choose from, you can then thoroughly choose the insurance carrier that offers the tariff that is most suitable and plausible to you economically. This makes you use cost more efficiently and cut excess spending since there are favored quotes at a more convenient price. Amazing! You do not feel bound to one insurance carrier only. Great! Finally free from the boring exercise of entering same information over and over again.

(3) Easily Accessible Interface: The sites of most insurance company online are designed such that the prospective clients and clients have easy access to all the processes involved in insurance dealings. The interface that connects the client to the company is made to be highly comprehensible and user-friendly. For example, the process of filing a claim, subscribing for your premium, and changing of policy coverage can all be done in the comfort of your home or office. This immobile way of getting things done saves fuel that will be used in transportation, saves energy for other uses, and makes an efficient use of time and resources. Beautiful! No more sweating to get your insurance.

(4) Availability of Documents 24/7: At the time of need, if one is in a far distance from the hard-copy document, an online user can still go to the relevant insurance site and make a swift download of any documents that may be needed. Again, the availability of the documents on the internet ensures the security of all documents and makes you assured of not losing your files and documents to any form of hazard. You can print all documents anew at the time of need even in situations where the hard copy is destroyed. Great! No more fear of losing evidence and documents.

(5) Competitive Market for each Insurance Company: A tremendous success of the internet in the domain of insurance is the creation of competition for many insurance companies. The very fact that the internet makes the insurance quotes and rates of each company readily accessible to internet users, gives these insurance companies the reaction to formulate good plans that will ensure their triumph in the competitive market. They all make plans that will attract clients. Wow! This seems to be highly favorable to you.

How to Buy Auto Insurance Quotes Online

(1) Be Prepared: Get all the information ready. Driver license numbers of all the drivers involved, all relevant vehicles information, and approximate dates and details of all the violations and accidents, and distance coverage, vehicles have been through. Prepare to show your credit report (it is relative to states or companies)

(2) Start Shopping: Having got all your documents organized, begin to research quotes from carriers. In choosing, put relevant benefit that suits your age group and financial status into consideration.

(3) Protect yourself by Choosing Good Liability Limits: The states require Bodily Injury Liability covers that occurs if you are the agent that caused an accident. Also, Property Damage Liability is required for car damage caused by your vehicle. To get pay that corresponds with the cost of loss in an accident, you need to have more than the state-mandated minimum coverage. To protect yourself and your asset, acquire extra liability insurance.

(4) Deductibles and Coverage: After choosing liability limit, you will be presented optional coverages in the area of uninsured and underinsured motorists and personal injury protection(optional). This insurance pays for the medical, funeral, rehabilitation, and pain cost derived in the accident. This insurance also captures the clients’ household members as pedestrians. However, if you choose collision and comprehensive, you will be required to pay a deductible which is the charge that applies before insurance kicks in. To save rates, you can pay more deductibles.

(5) Discounts: The answer you give to the questions of what you do for a living and whether your car has, safety, anti-theft, dependable body parts will determine the price.

(6) Printing of Card, and Discarding of Old Policies: After the purchase of a policy has been achieved, there is a need for the client to print out evidence of coverage. Plausibly, the soft copy may also be saved on the clients’ emails. After the proof has been acquired, the existing policy can be abandoned or discarded, and the new policy can be adopted to save money.


Take advantage of the competition to find the best insurance policy at the best price.

Pros and Cons of Refinancing Your Auto Loan

Refinancing your auto loan is a very big decision to make, almost as big as buying your new car. Refinancing is basically acquiring a new secured loan to pay off the old one. This usually happens when you seek more favorable terms on your loan contract or you need cash fast.  Ideally, the new loan terms will be improved.  But sometimes refinancing is not always the right decision, as there are disadvantages related to it, too.

Refinancing your auto loan can be appealing and tempting at times.  But it is very important to take a close look to make sure you get the benefits you wanted from it. Like other decision-making situations, refinancing has both advantages and disadvantages. That is based, of course, on your situation. Having an educated understanding about these pros and cons will keep you on the right track to make a good financial decision.

To help you decide whether to refinance your car loan, here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Refinancing Your Auto Loan

Refinancing can lower your interest rate

Through refinancing, there is a possibility that you get a lower interest rate compared to your existing loan. This is one of the many reasons why borrowers opt to refinance. If you have a good credit reputation, you might want to try checking to refinance your vehicle after a couple of years. If your credit score is good, you can get a lower interest rate through refinancing. With lower finance charges, you will be able to save money over the course of loan period or even able to pay off your loan faster. However, there is a limit on this. Keep in mind multiple inquiries on your credit rating can negatively affect your credit standing.

Refinancing extends payment period

It allows the borrower to reconstruct the term of the new loan, including the payment period. If the borrower has good credit, extending the loan period can be attainable. For instance, if the loan term of your existing loan is two more years, it may be possible to extend the term to four or five years through refinancing.

Refinancing increases cash flow

If the balance of your existing loan is less than what your car is worth, you may able to increase your cash flow through cash-out refinancing.  For instance, if your vehicle is currently valued at $10,000, but you only owe $8,000; your vehicle has an equity value of $2,000. This type of refinancing gives you the equity remaining to use as necessary.

Cons of Refinancing Your Auto Loan

Refinancing makes you pay more interest over the period of the loan.

When you refinance, you should compute first whether you are actually saving money. Although it is true that when you refinance you often get a lower interest rate, you generally also pay more interest since the loan period is extended. In other words, you pay more cash over the life of your loan. Getting a lower monthly interest rate might be very tempting, but if you really want to pay less overall and save money it is important that you do the math first before deciding.

Refinancing sometimes makes you pay a higher interest rate.

This advantage is for a cash-out type of refinancing. This type of refinancing allows borrowers to pull out cash fast but often come with a financial penalty (interest rate or fees).  Getting cash is the most common reason for refinancing. When you conduct a cash-out refinancing, you should keep in mind that most creditors charge high interest especially on older cars. But, this is a good method to get cash out of your equity if you need immediate funds.

Refinancing sometimes makes you pay exit, transfer, and upfront fees.

Since you are terminating your existing loan and getting a new one, you are expected to pay additional fees and charges.  Most of the loans that came from refinancing do not have a pre-termination waiver. Beware if your new loan comes with a prepayment charge, because it will mean you are not allowed to pay off your credit early. With that, you have no choice but to pay the loan over the entire length of the loan. Be careful if your new creditor charges an extra fee, including the application charges, because these can add up and offset benefits that you’d get from refinancing.


Before deciding whether to refinance or not, you must do your research first and take all your options into consideration. Start by evaluating what interest rates are available. Then consider your budget and the length of your current versus proposed loan. To maximize the benefit of refinancing, try to find a loan that has the lowest interest rate but payable in the shortest period of time.

How to Sell Your Timeshare Property

Have you invested in a real estate property and regretted doing so because of skyrocketing maintenance fees? Did you recently acquire a vacation house that you realized would be of little use to you?  Whatever your reason may be in selling your timeshare property, there are basic procedures that you need to follow if you want to put it back on sale in the market. Here are some important facts to consider when selling your timeshare property:

Beware of resale agencies.

Scammers are lurking everywhere so be sure that a resale agency is legitimate and duly-licensed, if and when you decide to sell through one.  Be wary of a resale company that is asking for upfront fees beyond US$100 and be cautious when a resale agent communicates mostly through phone.

Determine your timeshare’s value.

Timeshare properties tend to devalue easily so be sure to determine the appropriate value of your timeshare property by referring to sites like Redweek, Sharket and Timeshare Users Group.

Consider an agent.

If you’re too busy to supervise the listing and selling of your timeshare property then it’s time to consider a real estate agent to do the work.  However, these agents tend to demand a larger commission for such transactions as compared to usual home sales and may be selective with the properties that they are willing to sell.

Be sure that your decision to sell is final.

Ask yourself if your decision is final as being hesitant to do so may cause untoward stress.  Timeshares now also come with points that can be accumulated such as frequent flyer miles which may work to your advantage after all.

Look for a buyer yourself.

It’s now easy to look for a buyer so long as you have the patience and the right connections. Social media networks can be utilized and along with the right connections you can easily find a buyer for your timeshare even with little or no external help at all.


If you want to proceed with selling your timeshare property, the following are options to consider:


Put it on sale on consumer sales sites like eBay or Craigslist.

These sites are popular among consumers and frequently visited by prospective property buyers as well.


Utilize online advertising sites dedicated to timeshares like Timeshare Users Group or Redweek.

These sites are solely devoted to promote timeshares which are up for sale and most prospective property buyers visit it regularly.

Sell it through a licensed resale company.

Resale companies help in the prompt sale of timeshare properties. However, make sure that it is a registered and legitimate resale company and check with the Better Business Bureau to verify it.

Place an ad on the real estate section of the city or area where the property is located.

Don’t forget to post on the local ads of the city or area where the timeshare property for sale is located so it can be viewed by more people.


Here are some important things to remember on how to avoid scams in selling your timeshare property:

Do not divulge personal information to anyone who is offering to help you sell your timeshare without doing your due diligence.

Searching for a suitable buyer for your timeshare property takes time and resources so be ready to take on the risks.  However, if a resale agent tries to contact you and offers help in selling your timeshare then be on guard.  Giving out your personal information is a red flag as you don’t have any clear idea about the person you’re dealing with.  He or she may just be one of the countless scammers around who are out to make a quick buck.

Always do your homework with the help of the internet when contacted by a suspicious company or agent.

Thanks to the internet and Google you can easily search for a person or company online if you’re ever contacted by a resale agency or resale agent that you hardly know or were not recommended by friends, family or colleagues.   Check out if they have an existing website and search for their list of entries.  Legitimate resale agencies and companies place their company information, headquarters, address, list of owners, services and other pertinent information on their websites.  If a company’s website provides very little information and only lists a toll-free number then more often than not they are scammers.

Get in touch with your timeshare company and inquire about give-back or resale programs.

One great way to avoid scammers is to directly get in touch with your timeshare company for any resale or give-back programs they may have for owners like you who intend to sell timeshare properties. If they don’t have such programs they can always refer you to licensed and registered real estate brokers who will assist you in selling your timeshares.


Selling your timeshare property has its share of risks and set-backs so it’s best to stay informed and up-to-date with all the necessary steps.  Scammers are always on the look-out for their next victim so be sure to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and procedures so you won’t fall prey to these heartless people. And good luck with your sale!