The Cost of Payday Loans

You need a cash advance immediately, but are too shy to ask relatives or friends, and are scared of the paperwork involved in a bank loan. Shed all your worries, for help is a mouse click away in the form of payday loans. Payday loans are one of the most convenient ways of getting a cash advance today with practically no paperwork or other hassles.

Defining Payday loans

Payday loans are a short-term cash advance, when it is needed the most…usually between paydays! Payday loans are a great way to get some cash to tide you over to your next paycheck. The goal of payday loans is to assist you with finances to meet that unforseen requirement. The money is given as a cash advance and is directly deposited into your personal checking account, after which the cash advance funds, plus a fee, are taken out of your account at the end of the loan which usually is your next payday.

However, a payday loan is no substitute for long-term financial planning. This cash advance should only be taken to meet urgent financial needs until your next payday. It is only in emergencies that payday loans come in handy. Payday loans also bail you out of situations of bounced checks and late payment penalties by making the appropriate cash advance available.

Understanding The Cost Of Payday Loans

Forewarned is forearmed! So it is with payday loans. If you know what this kind of cash advance will cost you, you will be in a better position to weigh the pros and cons of opting for it. This way you will also know exactly what amount you need to pay back to the payday loan companies.

Your first step should be to find out the best rate of payday loan on offer. Whichever payday loan company you may choose you must know what will be the fixed amount that you will owe upon completing your payday loan.

Usually most payday loan companies charge around $20 to $30 per $100 of cash advance. To ensure that there are no ambiguities, insist that your final payday loan amount is spelled out in dollars and cents. This will help you know what you need to pay, when your payday loan is due.

To judge the best deal, go for the payday loans company that is offering a lower APR. Usually, most payday loan companies provide a cost-breakdown per 100-dollar increments that coincide with the rate.

Furthermore, most payday loan fees are based on the duration of the cash advance. The standard APR for most companies falls into the 400 percent range. As an example, suppose you were to borrow $100 at a fee of $20 for a 2 week period and if you did not pay if for a year, your service charge would be $520 for a 520% APR. To which you need to remember to add the original $100 that you borrowed.

There may be a situation where you are unable to repay the full amount of the cash advance to the payday loans company. In such a situation, the payday loans company generally charges the payday loans finance fee and defers the principal payment over a longer period of time, usually another 14 days.

The Other Hidden Costs

There are several hidden costs in a payday loan! Remember, if you are unable to pay this cash advance and you happen to lose your job, the clock does not stop. If you default on the cash advance, which includes the principal plus interest, the payday loan company will reclaim the entire amount plus all the interest accrued on this loan. A payday loan company may exercise a number of options to collect this cash advance:

·Sue you for the funds.

·Use a collection agency.

·Enter your details into a bad credit database which may limit your capacity to cash/write a check for commercial purposes.

·File a legal complaint for bounced-check charges that may leave derogatory information on your credit file.

By now, it should be clear that it is not prudent to go for payday loans without being aware of the repayment structure. To play it safe, make sure that the cash advance is repaid on time to the payday loans company. Read the fine print before you sign the agreement and understand the worst-case scenarios before deciding to take a payday loan. Once you understand the costs involved in obtaining a cash advance, you are a step nearer to fully enjoying the benefits of payday loans!

ENTREPRENEURIAL CHALLENGES – The Case of Royal Bank Zimbabwe Ltd

Industry Shake-up

In December 2003 Mzwimbi went on a well deserved family vacation to the United States, satisfied with the progress and confident that his sprawling empire was on a solid footing. However a call from a business magnate in January 2004 alerted him to what was termed a looming shake- up in the financial services sector. It appears that the incoming governor had confided in a few close colleagues and acquaintances about his plans. This confirmed to Mzwimbi the fears that were arising as RBZ refused to accommodate banks which had liquidity challenges.

The last two months of 2003 saw interest rates soar close to 900% p.a., with the RBZ watching helplessly. The RBZ had the tools and capacity to control these rates but nothing was done to ease the situation. This hiking of interest rates wiped out nearly all the bank’s income made within the year. Bankers normally rely on treasury bills (TBs) since they are easily tradable. Their yield had been good until the interest rates skyrocketed. Consequently bankers were now borrowing at higher interest rates than the treasury bills could cover. Bankers were put in the uncomfortable position of borrowing expensive money and on-lending it cheaply. An example at Royal Bank was an entrepreneur who borrowed $120 million in December 2003, which by March 2004 had ballooned to $500 million due to the excessive rates. Although the cost of funds was now at 900% p.a., Royal Bank had just increased its interest rates to only 400% p.a, meaning that it was funding the client’s shortfall. However this client could not pay it and just returned the $120 million and demonstrated that he had no capacity to pay back the $400 million interest charge. Most bankers accepted this anomaly because they thought it was a temporary dysfunction perpetuated by the inability of an acting governor to make bold decisions. Bankers believed that once a substantive governor was sworn in he would control the interest rates. Much to their dismay, on assuming the governorship Dr. Gono left the rates untamed and hence the situation worsened. This scenario continued up to August 2004, causing considerable strain on entrepreneurial bankers.

On reflection, some bankers feel that the central bank deliberately hiked the interest rates, as this would allow it to restructure the financial services sector. They argue that during the cash crisis of the last half of 2003, bank CEOs would meet often with the RBZ in an effort to find solutions to the crisis. Retrospectively they claim that there is evidence indicating that the current governor though not appointed yet was already in control of the RBZ operations during that time period and was thus responsible for the untenable interest rate regime.

In January 2004, after his vacation, Mzwimbi was informed by the RBZ that Royal had been accommodated for $2 billion on the 28th of December 2003. The Central Bank wanted to know whether this accommodation should be formalized and placed into the newly created Troubled Bank Fund. However, this was expensive money both in terms of the interest rates and also in terms of the conditions and terms of the loan. At Trust Bank, access to this facility had already given the Central Bank the right to force out the top executives, restructure the Board and virtually take over the management of the bank.

Royal Bank turned down the offer and used deposits to pay off the money. However the interest rates did not come down.

During the first quarter of 2004 Trust Bank, Barbican bank and Inter-market Bank were identified as distressed and put under severe corrective orders by the Central Bank.

Royal Assault

Royal Bank remained stable until March 2004. People who had their funds locked up in Inter-market Bank withdrew huge sums of funds from Royal Bank while others were moving to foreign owned banks as the perception created by Central Bank was read by the market to mean that entrepreneurial bankers were fraudsters.

Others withdrew their money on the basis that if financial behemoths like Intermarket can sink, then it could happen to any other indigenous controlled bank. Royal Bank had an advantage that in the smaller towns it was the only bank, so people had no choice. However even in this scenario there were no stable deposits as people kept their funds moving to avoid being caught unawares. For example in one week Royal Bank had withdrawals of over $40 billion but weathered the storm without recourse to Central Bank accommodation.

At this time, newspaper reports indicating some leakage of confidential information started appearing. When confronted, one public paper reporter confided that the information was being supplied to them by the Central Bank. These reports were aimed at causing panic withdrawals and hence exposing banks to depositor flight.

Statutory Reserves

In March 2004, at the point of significant vulnerability, Royal Bank received a letter from RBZ cancelling the exemption from statutory reserve requirements. Statutory reserves are funds, (making up a certain percentage of their total deposits), banks are required to deposit with the Central Bank, at no interest.

When Royal Bank began operations, Mzwimbi applied to the Central Bank – then under Dr Tsumba, for foreign currency to pay for supplies, software and technology infrastructure. No foreign currency could be availed but instead Royal Bank was exempted from paying statutory reserves for one year, thus releasing funds which Royal could use to acquire foreign currency and purchase the needed resources. This was a normal procedure and practice of the Central Bank, which had been made available to other banking institutions as well. This would also enhance the bank’s liquidity position.

Even investors are sometimes offered tax exemptions to encourage and promote investments in any industry. This exemption was delayed due to bungling in the Banking Supervision and Surveillance Department of the RBZ and was thus only implemented a year later, consequently it would run from May 2003 until May 2004. The premature cancellation of this exemption caught Royal Bank by surprise as its cash flow projections had been based on these commencing in May 2004.

When the RBZ insisted, Royal Bank calculated the statutory reserves and noted that, due to a decline in its deposits, it was not eligible for the payment of statutory reserves at that time. When the bank submitted its returns with zero statutory reserves, the Central Bank claimed that the bank was now due for the whole statutory reserve since inception. In effect this was not being treated as a statutory reserve exemption but more as a penalty for evading statutory reserves. Royal Bank appealed. There were conflicting opinions between the Bank Supervision and Capital Markets divisions on the issue as Bank Supervision conceded to the validity of Royal’s position. However Capital Markets insisted that it had instructions from the top to recall the full amount of $23 billion. This was forced onto Royal Bank and transferred without consent to the Troubled Banks Fund at exorbitant rates of 450% p. a.

FML Saga

When FML was demutualising, the executives were concerned about the possibility of being swallowed by its huge strategic partner, Trust Holdings. FML approached Royal Bank and other banks to act as buffers. The agreement was that FML would fund the deal by placing funds with Royal Bank so that Royal would not fund it from its balance sheet.

Consequently FML would leave the deposits with Royal Bank for the tenor of the loan. The deal was consummated through Regal Asset Managers and was to mature in December 2004, at which time it was anticipated that the share price of First Mutual would have blossomed, allowing Royal Bank to harvest its investment and exit profitably. The deal resulted in Regal Asset Managers owning 57 million FML shares. Royal Bank gave FML some securities in the form of treasury bills as collateral for the deposit.

The Reserve Bank and the curator wrote off this investment because at that time FML was suspended at the ZSE. However the fact that it was suspended did not invalidate its value. Recent events have shown that this investment has generated huge capital value for Regal Asset Managers as the ZSE rebounded. Yet the curator valued this investment negatively. Around March 2004 there had been a contagion effect at FML due to the challenges at Trust Bank. This resulted in the forced departure of the FML CEO and chairman. FML was suspended from the local bourse as investigations into the financing structure of Capital Alliance’s acquisition were carried out. Because of the pressure brought to bear on FML, it wanted to withdraw the deposits held by Royal Bank, contrary to the agreement. FML could not locate and return the treasury bills that had been provided as collateral by Royal. Royal Bank suspected that these had been placed with ENG, another asset management company which collapsed in December 2003. A public row broke out. Royal Bank executives sought counsel from Renaissance Merchant Bank, which had brokered the deal, and the Chairman of the ZSE, who both agreed with Royal that the deal was legitimate and FML had to honour the agreement. At this stage FML sought court intervention in an attempt to force Royal Bank into liquidation. Even the curator contested the FML position resulting in his taking it for arbitration. Royal’s position remained that if FML fails to return the securities then it will not get the funds.

Royal bank directors claimed political interference on the issue. The Royal Bank executives believe that the governor, against his better judgment, decided to act against Royal Bank under the pretext of the political pressure. In retrospect, the political support for cracking the whip at Royal gave credence to the rumour that the governor had an underlying agenda in taking Royal and merging it into ZABG because of its strong branch network.

Royal Bank had been warned by friendly RBZ insiders that if it ever accessed the Troubled Bank Fund it would be in trouble, so it sought to avoid this at all costs.

However on 4th August 2004, Royal was served with papers that effectively placed it under the curator. Interestingly, the curator’s contract was signed two days earlier. Until this time no depositor had ever failed to withdraw his deposits from Royal Bank.

The lack of credibility of the Reserve Bank in handling this case is exposed when one considers that some banks were given more than eight months to stabilize under curators, e.g. Intermarket and CFX Banks, and were able to recover. But Royal and Trust Bank were under the curator for less than two months before being amalgamated. The press raised concerns about the curators assuming the role of undertaker rather than nurse, and hence burying these banks.This seemed to confirm the possibility of a hidden agenda on the part of the Central Bank.

Victor Chando

Chando was an excellent financial engineer who set up Victory Financial Services after a stint with MBCA. He had been the brains behind the setting up of the predecessor of Century Discount House which he later sold to Century Holdings. Royal Bank initially had an interest in discount houses and so at inception had included Victor as a significant shareholder. He later acquired Barnfords Securities which Royal intended to bring in-house.

Victory Financial Services was involved in foreign currency dealings, using offshore companies that bought free funds from Zimbabweans abroad and purchased raw materials for Zimbabwean corporations. One such deal with National Foods went sour and the MD reported it to the Central Bank. On investigations the deal was found to be clean but the RBZ went ahead to publish that he was involved in illegal foreign currency transactions and linked this to Royal Bank. However this was a transaction done by a shareholder as an account holder, in which the bank had no interest. What confused matters, was that Victory Financial Services was housed in the same building as Royal Bank.

After failing to nail Chando to any criminal charges, the Central Bank issued an order for Royal Bank to force him out as a shareholder and board member. It is ridiculous that the Central Bank would vet who is a shareholder or not in banks – particularly when the people had no criminal records.

Negotiations with OPEC were underway for it to take over Chando’s shareholding. The Reserve Bank was aware of these developments. OPEC would then help in the recapitalization as well as open up lines of credit for the bank.

The Arrest

In September 2004 the executive directors of Royal Bank, Mzwimbi and Durajadi, were arrested on five allegations of fraudulently prejudicing the bank. One of the charges was that they fraudulently used depositors’ funds to recapitalize the bank.

Three of the charges after police investigations were dropped, as they were not true. The two remaining charges were:

a) a conflict of interest on loans that were made available to the directors. The RBZ alleges that they did not disclose their interests when companies controlled by them accessed loans at concessionary rates from the bank. However the enterprising bankers dispute these charges, as they claim the Board minutes prove that this interest was disclosed. Even the annual financial statements of the bank acknowledge that they accessed loans as part of their employment contract with the bank.

b) money was owed to Finsreal Asset Management. However Mzwimbi argues that Finsreal actually owes them money and not the other way round. Royal Bank shareholders needed to inject money for recapitalization of the bank and were requested to deposit their funds with Finsreal Asset Management. Since some had not paid their portion of the recapitalization by the due date, Royal Financial Holdings, which had an account with Finsreal, paid the money on behalf of the shareholders – who were then indebted to Royal Financial Holdings. Somehow the RBZ confused this transaction as the bank’s funds and therefore accused the

shareholders of using depositors’ funds to recapitalize.

By retrospectively analyzing the court case wherein the Royal Bank executive directors are accused of defrauding the bank it appears that the RBZ created a falsehood in order to frustrate the bankers. The curator who initially refused to take a stand before the RBZ appointed Independent Appeal, has in court clearly testified that no monies were stolen from the bank by the directors and that the curator did not (contrary to RBZ assertions) recommend charges against the bankers. In January 2007 the former executive directors of Royal Bank were acquitted by the High Court on the remaining criminal charges after the prosecution failed to present a convincing argument.

Royal Bank assets were sold by the curator to ZABG barely two months after being placed under the curator, without any audited financial statements. The speed at which an agreement of sale was reached is astonishing. The owners of Royal Bank went to court and, after a protracted legal struggle, the court ruled that the assets were sold illegally and hence the sale was “illegal and of no force or effect and therefore null and void”. The court then directed that the owners should appeal to the Central Bank for a determination of the actions of the curators. The Central Bank begrudgingly set up an “independent panel” to adjudicate the case. Strangely ZABG continued to trade on the illegal assets.

The panel advised that the appeal by Royal bank be rejected as it would be difficult to disentangle it from ZABG. They also cited the fact that ZABG had some contractual obligations with third parties who may not want to do business with Royal bank. This strange ruling fails to explain why these considerations were not made when the amalgamation was done. The ruling also redefined the agreements between the curator of Royal bank and ZABG as not being an “agreement of sale” even though the parties which entered into the agreement clearly intended it to be viewed as such. This was a way of circumventing the Supreme Court ruling that the agreement of sale was null and void.

But the panel did not explain how this disposal of the assets should be considered if it was not a sale.

Consequently the major shareholders of Royal appealed to the Minister of Finance who upheld the RBZ decision. Mzwimbi and his colleagues have therefore appealed to the courts. In the meanwhile there was a failed attempt to sell the disputed assets by ZABG despite the outstanding legal challenge. Just ice delayed is justice denied.

Mzwimbi and his team have been denied access to all bank records and yet are expected to defend themselves. As he characteristically puts it, “We are going into this fight blind folded and our hands bound, while fighting someone who has armour and a sword.”

Get the Money You Need to Invest Through soft Money Lenders

Investing in commercial real estate, like any investment, is an assessment of risks and potential rewards. Like any commercial venture, there are always risks, and there are tools in place to help you reach those rewards, often for incremental increases in risk.

One of the easiest tools to use (and misuse) in commercial real estate development is debt and credit. We’re going to characterize the money you get from lending as “soft money”, money you pay to have access to, as opposed to hard money, where you’re taking an outside investor on to your property.

Fundamentally, paying interest in money is paying someone else for the privilege of using their funds to make your projects work out. Interest rates are driven by the Prime Lending Rate, which you’ve no doubt heard news stories about. The prime lending rate is the rate that banks charge other banks for loans, and is generally set by the Federal Reserve. All other interest rates made in a given quarter have their rate set as the prime late plus a small addition to the rate (or, in some cases, a large addition.)

To determine what sort of money you’re going to want, understand that the banks are in the business of lending money – and getting paid back with interest for it. They want to minimize risks, and they’ll run a credit check on you, and on your business. Most people who have the financial means to make the down payment on a property have cleared up their credit problems ahead of time, but be aware that a personal or business bankruptcy in the last few years can get you denied for a loan or make you pay for an exorbitant amount.

Soft money has interest charged on it; the interest rate is the percentage of the initial money borrowed that has to be paid (in profit) to the lendor each year. Thus, if you borrow 100,000 dollars at 8% interest and pay it off in one year, you’ll have paid $108,000 for the property. Those interest rates are cumulative over time; there’s a rule of thumb used in the financial market for compound (cumulative) interest rates called the Rule of 72: Divide 72 by the number of points of interest your money is making, and that’s the number of years it will take for the cumulative interest to equal the amount of the initial loan. Using our earlier $100,000 investment, at 8% APY, 72 divided by 8 is nine, which means that paying that loan back over 9 years means you’ll have paid out $200,000 for the property. Always factor your interest rates into your cost calculations on return on investment, and monthly cash flow calculations.

Now, the good news is that some interest, especially when applied to residential properties, is tax deductible for your business, but still, you’ll need to assess several things with your property before getting the initial loan.

The first one – what’s the largest down payment you can afford, without hurting your own cash position? Larger down payments result in saving money in the long run, but can be an important cash flow hit early in the history of the investment. Larger down payments will usually (but not always) translate into lower monthly costs on the property (the primary exceptions are when you’re buying a residential property with high tenancy rates – these command high initial down payments because of their favorable capitalization rates and revenue potential, but still have the attendant costs of running a residential property.)

Second, how quickly do you intend to sell this property? The longer you intend to hold on to the property, the better a long term loan will look. This is because banks charge lower interest rates for longer period loans, due to the rule of 72 mentioned above. If you want to buy, renovate and turn, you’re going to want to get a shorter term loan, because it’s harder to sell a property with attached debts and second mortgages. In particular, any property that needs substantial improvement may need to have its interest rate needs assesses carefully – it’s not difficult at all to take a commercial property and turn it into a money pit that consumes all your profits.

For sources for your loan, the obvious place to look is a bank, preferably one with a strong business lending history. Understand that due to the regulations put on the Savings and Loan industry in the 1980s, it’s very hard for small businesses to get a substantial sum of money; there are regulations that keep them from lending to new businesses to prevent a future bailout. Another source for your loan can be a credit union or building society; these are tools that allow multiple investors to pool resources to build businesses – this is one reason why credit unions require all customers be called members, and why they require a $5 deposit.

Not so obvious places for your loan: If you’re coming out of the military, you’re entitled to a Veterans Administration loan, generally at very favorable rates, and bypassing a large number of credit checks for loans of $150,000 or less. While the intent of this loan program is to let veterans buy their first homes after mustering out, these loans are excellent tools for new investors to buy, renovate and turn properties over for a quick profit.

Similarly, Small Business Investment Relations (or SBIR) loans can often be had from local chambers of commerce, if you can provide a solid business plan for how you’re going to make a profit and pay the loan back. Housing and Urban Development loans can also be had for investors who intend to hold on to a property for low income housing, though this tends to be best as for a “buy and hold” strategy.

Who Else Wants To Shop For Cheap Loans

There are several things to look at when you shop for cheap loans. You may or may not qualify for the cheapest of the cheap loans, so what youre really going to need to do is first find these cheapest loans, then determine their requirements for qualification, eliminate those for which you dont qualify and then compare the rates, fees, and features of the others.

Keep in mind that there are many things that affect whether a loan is really cheap or not. Not all loans are cheap just because their rate is low. If, for example, they have prepayment penalties that are high and you are determined to get out from under the loan as quickly as possible this particular loan wouldn’t belong in your list of cheap loans to consider.

Whether you are looking for cheap personal or business loans, secured or unsecured loans you can find several free loan comparisons and calculators on the Web. Some update their information each day, some offer reviews, and others allow the consumers themselves to rate the cheap loans and various lenders.

Before you set out to use a directory or review site about the various cheap loan vendors make sure that the site is impartial and not just spoon feeding you the best foot forward of its own lender clients.

Loans, cheap or otherwise, are not ever a one size fits all product. They have specific qualifying criteria, especially the lowest priced of them. Keep in mind as a rule of thumb that a secured loan is less costly than an unsecured one.

Of course, if you don’t have the collateral, aren’t willing to risk it or have it otherwise tied up in securing another loan, you’re out of options. The cheapest of the cheap loans is going to be closed to you.

Before you start looking you must note how much money you want to borrow, how long you will need to take to repay the money, if you need insurance to protect your payment in case of disability or other financial crisis such as job loss, just how bad or good your credit is, and any loan and lender features you must have or want to avoid.

These are the things that will narrow down your options, leaving you with a list of those who will accept your application and those whose loan you’re willing to consider.
Of course, an adverse credit history will affect your ability to secure cheap loans. The more risk you present to the creditors the higher the rate of interest you will need to pay. You’ll want to search out the lenders that specialize in offering loans to those with bad credit. These firms are more likely to offer you the cheap loans.

It only makes sense, of course, that when you’ve narrowed down your creditor list to those who may offer cheap loans and for whose loan you may qualify, you are going to have to be prepared to tell the directory site and its calculator, the online broker or the creditor themselves how much you need to borrow, how much your current property is worth (in the case of a home equity loan,) what your mortgage payments are, what your income is, what your assets and liabilities are, and how much you can afford to pay each month.

Online Tax Preparation – Preparing Tax Returns

Preparation of tax returns should be done very cautiously, because the tax payer is responsible for each and every word written on the tax return even though it is prepared by a professional. The preparer should be able to provide you with practical and convenient tips for tax saving.

You can find an efficient tax preparer online only if you put genuine efforts in searching for one.

Check while hiring tax preparer online

There are certain things that one should follow when hiring an individual or a firm for online tax preparation:

  • Legally speaking, the professional preparer should sign the returns form in the preparer areas. He/she should furnish the identification number on the return. He or she should give a copy of the return to the tax payer.
  • The preparer should be very accurate with filling in your details. Your personal information along with your registration number should be mentioned accurately.
  • The tax preparer should be efficient in online accounting.
  • Do not sign on blank tax returns form ever and do not use a pencil for signing as the signature can be easily erased and your signature replaced.
  • You should present any notices and refund checks that you might have got from your attorney to the tax preparer for preparing the returns.
  • Online bookkeeping is something that your tax preparer should be efficient in.
  • The tax preparer should be adequately qualified and experienced for his/her job, because each and every word he or she writes in the return from is evaluated by the tax collection authorities, and there is every opportunity of the tax payer being penalized for terms that are vague or seem to be unreliable.

Online Tax Preparation Process

Tax preparation should be done with a lot of caution as each and every word mentioned in the tax returns form is the responsibility of the tax payer, even though it might be prepared by another person, a professional or a firm. The tax preparer should be well versed in his/her work. He/She should be adequately qualified and experienced to prepare the tax returns statement. He/She should fill out the form with clear and reliable statements and should sign the tax returns form wherever applicable.

He/She should fill in the areas on the tax return form where the preparer’s information is required. Details like identification number should be clearly furnished on the form and should be signed. The person should not leave any blank areas. The details of the tax payer presented on the returns form should be accurate. It is mandatory for furnishing the registration number of the tax payer. The tax preparer should be able to provide easy-to-implement tax saving tips, and he/she should be adept at online bookkeeping and accounting. Any notices and refund checks, if obtained from an attorney, should be furnished to the tax preparer. On the whole, preparation of tax return statements should be done in a very careful manner as mistakes might cost the tax payer a lot.

Home Loans to Get the Best of Your Property

At least once in life everyone thinks about moving. Either to a bigger home if the family is growing; or to a smaller one, if the kids are leaving and the actual home is going to be too big for you. Whatever your reason may be, selling a house is always an opportunity.

Home loans, if well used may help you to make a good deal from your property’s sell. There are many suitable options, depending on your situation and what you are looking for. Even with bad credit, and also if you are still repaying your home mortgage.

Types Of Home Loans

There are many options to be evaluated within home loans, you should start evaluating first what is that you want to do. If you want to switch to a bigger home, to a smaller one, and how would you like to invest the extra benefit obtained from the selling, if any.

There are two important home loan categories that you should look at when thinking about moving. Those are, home purchasing loans and home improvement loans.

Home improvement loans point to, as their name says, improve your current home. Either if there are any reparations to be done, or if you would like to make your home look better before selling it, these kinds of loans may be a good help. If you do the right modifications, your home value could be increased by the time you find a buyer. Financial companies will also approve loans for landscape improvements, such as constructing a swimming pool, if that is favorable to increase the property’s value.

Home purchasing loans, in the other hand, are meant to help you on your new home’s purchasing.

Different Options

You will find a wide range of loans within both, home improvement and home purchasing loans.

Home purchasing loans will vary according to what do you intend to do. In example, if you had purchased your actual home whit a home loan which you are still repaying, and the home you are willing to move to will also need extra finance, you could get a home conversion loan. These kinds of loans, place your actual loan into the new home, including the extra amount you need. If you do not have any previous home loan, you can have a mortgage loan or a home equity loan, just over the extra amount you need to buy your new home.

You will also find many options on home improvement loans, the most common are unsecured personal loans for home improvements, home mortgage refinancing, first mortgage loans and second loans.

Unsecured personal loans may be a little more expensive than secured loans since they represent more risk for the lender, but you will not need to have equity in your property or any other collateral to apply. Credit score may be a limitation for the borrowed amount, but you are still eligible even if you have bad credit.

Home mortgage refinancing and first mortgage loans, are good options to evaluate if you have purchased your home with a mortgage loan. First mortgage loans are offered by your current lender, to finance your home improvements over your existent mortgage. With home mortgage refinancing your actual mortgage loan will be refinanced. You will not be borrowing more money, but refinancing will lower your home mortgage monthly payments leaving you extra money to invest on improving your home.

Second loans are suitable if you have an equity in your property to justify the loan.

All these options, if well used may help you to obtain the best of your property’s sell. Try to search and compare as many lenders as you can before you decide to apply for any loan.

The Critical Stage of CNBC Fast Money

This is a critical time for CNBC Fast Money with initial tests being conducted. It was noted that the CNBC rating has plummeted in the past years as cynical stock traders tried to escape the slowly crumbling industry. However, CNBC executives believe that the market is reviving to its old glory, even with the verge of new competition. How can we say that this US financial investing TV programis profitable?

Even though CNBC ratings might have been suffering from negatives, the network is still in high-revenue tier. Take note of its pretax income of about $ 270 million. With the US reserves and economic monitoring will continue to be the meat of financial talk shows, which is really the nature of the network’s plan to entice its viewers. However, this financial TV program is seen to be more appealing to a more natural type of consumerists or those traders who doesn’t give so much fuss about the weak points but just want to try venturing out with stocks and try to be rich. Is stock-picking important to CNBC?

The answer is yes. The kind of stock-picking in CNBC Fast Money is quite sensitive. In the past trading years in 1990s, CNBC received criticisms for including too many members in the panel who sometimes crazily peddling on stocks even without careful analysis. But CNBC defended that they had found a way to offer new responsible programs. However, the primary idea of the show will still revolve around turning money in the shortest period of time. What are expected changes in CNBC Fast Money?

Since news and analysis on financial trends have turned into measly commodity of the financial world, the network has to consider presenting news and financial information in the most innovative way without compromising responsible programming. The executive producers also want to include cultural relevancy on the program by providing access to the viewers and teaching them how to use such information for their stock trading. How could this happen?

Perhaps the secret of CNBC Fast Money is to widen its appeal without compromising its reputation among its advertisers. The network targets Class A and B market to maintain its standing as a major player in the business world. Fast Money TV program is indeed a primary network asset of CNBC. However, programming is in constant change with new ideas cropping up to develop the program and to implement changes. Talk shows and late night shows could be a challenge yet Fast Money is still a major TV phenomenon.

Options For Getting Your Taxes Prepared

When tax season rolls around each year the are a number of individuals who need to decide how their tax returns will be prepared and filed. Each taxpayer has a number of tax preparation options. These tax preparation options can include self preparation or hiring the services of a tax professional.

Individuals who makes the decision to hire the help of a tax professional are likely to hire an accountant or professional tax preparer. The majority of professional tax preparers are employed by a large company that specializes in tax preparation. Taxpayers are often required to take the necessary documents to a tax preparation office. Popular professional tax preparation companies include H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. There are likely to be other smaller or locally owned tax preparation companies located in cities or towns throughout the United States.

Taxpayers also have the option of hiring an accountant to prepare and file their taxes. Many individuals who have complicated financial records are likely to hire the services of an accountant because accountants are not only trained in tax preparation, but bookkeeping as well. When choosing a tax accountant to do business with taxpayers are encouraged to ask an accountant about their qualifications or relevant business experience. There are two main types of accountants. One is a person that may just have previous accounting experience and then there are certified public accountants (CPAs). Certified public accountants (CPAs) are required to take a set number of college credits and pass a CPA exam before becoming certified. Certified public accountants are likely to charge their clients more money; however, they tend to offer better results due to their large amounts of training and experience.

The only downside to hiring a professional tax preparer or an accountant to do your taxes is that they are likely to cost a large amount of money. The majority of accountants and other professional tax preparers charge their clients based on the number of state and federal forms that need to be filled out and how complicated they all are. It is not uncommon for an individual to pay over one hundred dollars to have their taxes professionally prepared. For this reason there are many individuals who decide to prepare their own taxes.

When an individual decides to prepare their own taxes they have a number of different tax preparation options. Until recently the majority of taxpayers who prepared their own taxes relied on paper tax forms to file their taxes. Paper forms are not as popular as they used to be; however, there are still many individuals who use them. The majority of taxpayers have federal and state tax return forms mailed to their residence. This is a convenient option that is given to all previous taxpayers. Other taxpayers can obtain federal and state tax forms and their instruction booklets by visiting their local library, post office, or bank.

The reason why paper forms are not as popular as they used to be is because of the development of tax software programs. Tax software programs are available for purchase online or in most retail stores. They are designed to allow individuals to prepare and file their taxes accurately and quickly. There are many tax software programs that transfer a taxpayers information from one form to the next. All tax software programs have a mathematical checker that prevents a number of errors from being reported on a tax return. Tax preparation software programs often come in a standard, deluxe, or premium version. The deluxe and premium versions are likely to include both federal and state tax return forms while the majority of standard versions only include federal tax return forms.

Once a taxpayers make the decision to have their taxes professional prepared or self prepared there are still more decisions that need to be made. Individuals are encouraged to examine their situation and decide whether they should hire an accountant, take their takes to a tax preparation office, file paper tax returns, or use a tax preparation software program. Each taxpayer is likely to make a different selection based on different circumstances. What are yours?

Tips of Avoiding a Devious Tax Preparer

There are many taxpayers who have found themselves on the wrong side of the IRS because they used the services of unscrupulous tax preparers. There are also others who have had their refunds embezzled by preparers. It is therefore, important that you research a tax preparer before signing up for his or her services. Below are some tips that will help you spot a crooked preparer:

  • Rate Depends on Amount of Refund – Avoid preparers who base their consultation fees based on the amount of a tax refund that they are able to get you. This is because such preparers use dubious ways of increasing your refund, such as inflate figures or including non-existing dependents. Such deceptive ways of increasing your tax refund can easily lead to both civil and criminal charges and therefore, it is important that you avoid such people.
  • Preparers Who Promise Large Refund – Another red flag for dubious preparers is ones who promise to get you a very large refund check as a way of enticing you to hire his or her services. Once again, such preparers may use illegal ways of raising your refund amount and this may easily get you into trouble with the tax authorities.
  • PTIN Qualifications – When searching for a preparer to hire his or her services, it is important that you ensure that the preparer has a Preparer Tax Identity Number (PTIN). As from a policy started in 2012, the IRS is requiring all preparers to apply for the PTIN after meeting certain meticulous qualifications. Once the IRS authenticates the credibility of the preparer, they issue the preparer with the PTIN. Therefore, confirming that your preparer has a PTIN is an important precaution to avoiding shady tax preparers. Besides having the PTIN, the preparer also ought to sign the tax return form before submitting.
  • Deposit Refunds to Preparer Account – Tax preparers who request you to indicate their address for the tax refunds or deposit tax refunds into their bank account are another red flag sign. A tax preparer should always indicate the taxpayers account for the tax refund.
  • Signing Blank Form – Tax preparers that prepare tax returns and submit without you going through the returns is yet another red flag. Some tax preparers will request you to sign a blank tax return form. They will then tell you that they will prepare and submit the return on your behalf and you do not need to confirm the details. Such an arrangement can lead to the preparer giving false information for selfish gain. Even when a taxpayer uses the services of a preparer, he or she is still held responsible for all the information provided on the return. Therefore, ensure that you verify the information indicated on the return before signing the tax return form.
  • Beware of Tax Preparers Who Promise Large Refunds But Won't Sign Your Tax Return

    In my experience as President of SmartServ Solutions, I come across many new clients each year. Most new come to us as a result of my snazzy advertising or through a referral from one of our existing clients. Still others come because they are looking to get a bigger tax refund. I am all for getting the most money back from Uncle Sam. That is, the most legal money. In recent weeks, I have come across a large number of previously filed fraudulent tax returns from 2005. It is a very disturbing trend occurring in the tax preparation business. Before I explain what is going on with the fraudulent tax returns, I would like to give a brief overview of the different types of tax preparation companies. I would classify the tax preparation business into three major categories:

    The large faceless tax franchises

    Most of the large franchise tax places hire seasonal part time workers who are moonlighting for extra money. They receive training each year from their corporate offices on the new tax laws, but tax preparation is not their primary profession. This leads to in many cases sloppy work and missed deductions. Most of the franchise tax places close down after April 15th.

    Independent tax preparation and accounting firms

    Independent firms are typically small firms where tax preparers work year round and additional support staff is hired during tax season. Many of these types of firms stay open all year and supplement the rest of the year after tax season with related financial service businesses like accounting, mortgages, investments or insurance.

    The “guy” or “girl” who gets big tax refunds

    These people are everywhere. They typically work out of an apartment or small store. Their reputation for getting extremely large tax refunds has spread like wildfire. Everybody either knows this person or someone who goes to someone like it. Their offices or apartments are usually standing room only and people will wait hours and hours just for a chance to get their taxes prepared here. There is an unfortunate reality about this type of outfit. An income tax return can be easily manipulated to create a large “temporary” tax refund. I will get in to the reason why I say “temporarily” shortly. Some people actually get and deserve tax refunds upwards of $10,000, $15,000 or even $20,000. The right combination of children, babysitting, mortgage interest and taxes, large withholdings and education expenses will in many cases create such a large tax refund that is legitimate. However, there are many unscrupulous tax preparers in this category who illegally add some or all of the above deductions and credits to anyone’s tax return.

    The sad truth is that the IRS will send you the money if you file a fraudulent return claiming an undeserving refund. The IRS is a slow moving big government bureaucracy. They may move slowly, but they do move. They have the capabilities of catching up with most of the tax fraud that is out there. It usually takes them a year or two or three after a tax return like this is filed, but they do catch those involved. What most people who utilize these types of tax preparers fail to realize is that they are completely responsible for the tax return that they file. A defense of “my tax preparer did it” or “I didn’t know” isn’t good enough for the IRS. Once you are caught filing such a tax return, you will be subject to pay back all of the money that you received illegally plus penalties, plus interest and possibly fines. And the IRS will get their money. They will use their power to place a tax levy against fraudsters which will give them the right to freeze assets like bank accounts and garnish salary. This is why I call an undeserving tax refund a “temporary” one. The IRS or State Department of Taxation also has the power to seek jail time if they find that there was fraud committed. Obviously, the unscrupulous tax preparers don’t tell this to their unsuspecting clients. I truly feel bad for these people. Most of them don’t understand the implications of filing a false tax return. I have met many people who have had their lives ruined by such circumstances. Life is too precious and it is not worth ruining your life for an extra couple of thousand dollars on your tax return that you don’t deserve. One tell tale sign that your tax preparer may be committing fraud on your tax return is that they refuse to sign the preparers part of your return. A tax preparer is required by the IRS to sign your tax return if they prepared it for you.

    I want to personally caution all taxpayers of filing such a fraudulent tax return in order to receive an unjust refund. There are many legitimate deductions and credits that are available that can be found if you look hard enough. Please choose a tax preparation company who will go the extra mile for your interests while not putting your financial future in jeopardy by getting you in trouble with the IRS.

    Getting a Cheap Loan & Improving Your Credit Rating to Ensure Your Loan is Competitive

    Securing a Cheap Loan

    With the current financial crisis constraining the amount of money banks presently lend due to the amount of capital reserves they require to satisfy regulating bodies, credit is not flowing as freely as it once was. Whilst London Inter-Bank Offering Rates (LIBOR) have dropped over the past year simple supply and demand is making loans less affordable at a time when they should technically be at their lowest levels. Basically the present   demand is high from the residential and business loan sectors, however the recent stress test revealed that capital reserves need to mitigate such crisis being sparked again, thus forcing banks to further reign in their lending.

    One way of reigning in that lending is by lending money to people with superior credit ratings. By getting yourself a credit check you substantially improve your chances of securing a loan that you require whether it be for home improvements, car finance, or even a holiday. Don’t forget that making an application for credit goes against your score so ensure that your credit rating is in a suitable position prior application, otherwise you could further damage your chances for future loans and credit such as mortgages, gym memberships, mobile phones etc…

    Businesses and consumers simply want to know what that means to them and why the loans at present are not as cheap as they should be!

    The money markets and LIBOR rate dictate the rate at which banks lend to one another, and even with what appears the bottom of the recession being hit lenders are still cautious on who they lend to and for what period of time. So even though you see the Bank of England Base Rate set by the Monetary Policy Committee set currently at 0.5% this does not mean your rate will be anything near this as wider economic factor influence that rate that filters down through to consumers and businesses.

    Before Applying for the Loan

    Even before you apply for a loan get a credit check to determine if you would even be considered by the lender, as a meaningless application could further hinder you rating and make future loans difficult to attain.

    What if my Credit Rating is poor?

    If your credit rating is poor there are a number of ways to improve your score prior your application for credit here are a brief few things you can do.

    • Clear CCJ’s.
    • Ensure you are on the Electoral Register
    • Time your application well – moving house can be a factor.
    • Clear previous debts & use expensive high rate credit cards (Just for one month).
    • Never miss a payment.
    • Check your address on all active accounts.

    How do I get a Cheap Loan

    Using loan comparison sites can help you compare secured and unsecured loans, credit cards, prepaid cards and payday loans, but these sites don’t always display all caveats. Remember its not just the rate that will make the loan cheap for yourself. More companies seem to be using set up fees and early repayment charges to earn extra money from those who only require a loan over the short term. Please consider the following:

    • You need to compare the APR to determine the true cost of the loan.
    • Look into the ability to make overpayment’s without penalty charges, as this will substantially reduce the capital owed, further reducing the interest paid, meaning your loan cost has been reduced.
    • Check for lenders who are willing to match or even beat rates on the high street in order to attain your custom, after all they are still competing for your custom.
    • Limit the amount you need to borrow on high APR – don’t just use one source, couple an interest free credit card with a higher APR loan if that is all that’s available as one will offset the other.

    Getting a loan over a certain amount can sometimes be more beneficial than getting a smaller loan due to administration charges and other governing factors, so bear this in mind when applying for a loan [http://www.loanrunner.co.uk/loans], therefore it can be cheaper to get a larger loan and then simply make an overpayment offset the induced interest.

    All You Need To Understand About Payday Loans

    A payday loan indeed has many names. Some call it a cash advance loan. A few think of it as a check advance loan. One another name is often a post-dated check loan. A few others call it a deferred-deposit check loan. The Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. calls it “costly cash”. Regardless of what you call it, it is really the same thing: a smallish (generally $50 to $500) short-term loan having considerable interest rate.

    Why would you obtain a payday loan?

    Payday loans are preferred for many reasons. To those who are actually in the position of requiring one, its benefits outnumber the disadvantages. And there really are shortcomings; nevertheless we will analyze those aspects subsequently.

    To start with, place yourself in the shoes of the individual who requires some quick money. Perhaps you have just been placed in the unenviable situation of suddenly requiring some cash and being taken by surprise. You might have had a totally unexpected health care bill or perhaps automobile repair bill, or you may really need to take a trip unexpectedly, like in the case of demise in the family. Some people who want swift funds utilize it to fork out their every day expenditures, such as rent, groceries, utilities, and so on… Whatever the reason will be, you desperately require that money and you simply do not now have it.

    Is really a payday loan your last option? Do you have other different solutions you could check out first? Well, what are often the merits of payday loans? Let us find out:

    1. You would not really have to undergo the hassle of a credit check.

    2. You will be able to fill out an application in person, on the phone or on the internet.

    3. The procedure normally takes under 20 minutes.

    4. The loan proceeds are conveniently deposited into your bank account in less than a day.

    5. It is very affordable, at least to start with – you really do not have any up-front expenses.

    6. It is very discreet – nobody else is involved in the process.

    7. It is secure – your financial details are not discussed with others.

    Alright, that makes sense. These are adequate reasons to get rid of the stress of remaining short of money. It is really a “quick fix”. You will be able to cover the shortage, and move on with your life. And you will be able to repay the next payday, correct? So you have settled your situation.

    Just where would you be able to get a payday loan?

    Payday loan firms are pretty much all over the place. There are over 10,000 payday loan outlets in operation in the U.S. And they are spread out in identical fashion all over the globe. If there is not a payday loan outlet near you, you can search the internet and uncover plenty of online payday loans out there.

    These providers are in business to “help” people in dire financial need. They give these kinds of loans to individuals that cannot obtain the money they need at any other place. Let us now profile one firm who furnishes payday loans as part of their basically financial services business – Money Mart.

    Money Mart was basically promoted as an alternate to banks. Their hours would extend past banking hours, and they would situate themselves in lot more accessible locations than banks. They can cash checks even when banks were closed, and people would not really have to travel very far for their services. They should have been on the correct course since today, they have 1,700 locations in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

    A common Money Mart customer actually is an average working individual, 32 years old (82% of clientele are less than 45 years) and currently employed, having an annual earnings of approximately the national average. These clients go to Money Mart because of their fast service, their easy venues, and their prolonged functioning hours. The entrepreneurs of Money Mart had been right – their primary ideas nonetheless hold true these days.

    Ever since including payday cash advances to their monetary services, they have carved themselves a very nice niche in the market. But they are certainly not the sole choice. You can today find a minimum of one, and typically several, payday loan facilities in almost every community.

    Why precisely would you choose not to obtain a payday loan?

    Now that we have researched the convenience of payday loans, let us now have a fair take a look at the disadvantages. All over the United States of America, governments on virtually every level are looking at payday loan channels with mounting worry. Plenty of individuals feel that they make the most of low-income people in financial difficulties. Some go as far as to express they “prey” on them. Their argument to that is that they are filling up a requirement and they are not carrying out anything illegal. So the debate goes on – let us examine why.

    Do you remember when you believed you had sorted out your difficulty and you could move on with your routines? Well, what if perhaps your following paycheck, after your planned expenses, was not good enough to pay off the obligation?

    If perhaps you came up short once again, you need not be troubled – payday loans are extendable, or renewable. This procedure is termed “rollover” and, when you do the same far too many times, it can end up costing you a whole lot of money. Let us study an illustration: Say that you borrowed $100 for 2 weeks (till your following payday). You give a check to the loan provider for $115 (including your $15 fee). The annual percentage rate of that loan is actually 391%! If perhaps you cannot pay off the $115 at the due date, you can rollover the loan for another couple of weeks. If perhaps you rollover the loan 3 times, the lending fee will reach $60 for a $100 loan. That is quite substantial interest, do not you suppose?

    These are details you need to give consideration to when you are deciding if a cash advance payday loan is the ideal solution in your particular circumstance. For sure, the loan cost is substantial, yet it gives you the funds you require, whenever you need it, thus avoiding a whole lot of tension and trouble. It is really pretty true in consumerism nowadays that convenience will cost you money. Nevertheless is it worth that much? That is a question you will really have to answer for on your own.

    Payday loans tend to be controversial – however they do fill a necessity

    At this point we have evidently presented both sides of the discussion – and it is really a big debate in recent times. Hence which party will you go with? That depends upon your current situation. In case you truly simply have to have it, and you do not really possess some other choice, then a payday loan is probably the prudent thing for you. At the very least you will be in a position to keep your peace of mind, even when it does cost you some money.

    When you end up in this scenario, use it as a chance to learn. Keep in mind, there are hardly any mistakes – simply lessons. When it is essential to get hold of a payday loan, ensure that you do not really roll it over a lot of times – that is really when it will become a trouble. Also in the interim, try to create a crisis fund so you would be able to cover those unforeseen expenditures. Become a good financial manager. Then you would possess an alternative, and also you would not have to depend on a payday loan as being “your last resort”.

    CNBC Fast Money And The Halftime Report

    CNBC Fast Money is a financial talk show in the US mainly discussing stock trading. Since 2007, it is aired every night at 5 pm or an hour after the conclusion of the NYSE. But in 2011, this financial investing TV program was moved to Mondays to Thursday to give way to special programs and forex trading on Fridays. The show is taped in NASDAQ headquarters in New York. After Dylan Ratigan, who is now the host of Fast Money?

    Vibrant and dynamic, the panel referred to as the Fast Money Five and host Melisa Lee offers an interactive stock trading talk show. When the trade is closed, Melissa and the Fast five provides input about the significant financial trends and how viewers can gain profit. How can you gain fast cash with this program?

    Often visited by experienced traders and panelists, CNBC Fast Money offers valuable insights for viewers who are interested in stock trading and individual or corporate investors searching for crucial information. With interesting segments and program features that provides marker for the most significant pops, drops and notable players in the stock market, this program is directed to the financial world and catered to help traders in the succeeding days. What about the program’s ratings?

    The first 13 episodes of CNBC Fast Money in 2006 at Wednesdays 8 pm were very low at estimated 110,000 viewers a week. The program was moved to a new timeslot at 5 pm resulting to its better reception and higher ratings. Viewership has doubled within a few weeks. Then after this 5 pm test, the network re-launched the program back at 8 pm hoping it might have gained footing after the amplified viewership. It failed. Ratings plummeted again. Fortunately CNBC retried the program at 5 pm and had gained its intended viewership for good. What about the Halftime Report?

    CNBC Fast Money Halftime Report has similar format but airs after noon. This show debuted in 2010 and was initiated from the segment on CNBC power Lunch. This special edition is hosted by Scott Wagner and airs live from Global HQ in New Jersey. Initially aired as a 30-minute talk show, the halftime Report became a one-hour TV program in 2011 and moved up to the noontime programming. This is the replacement of the cancelled show “The Strategy Session,” which suffered from very low ratings. Individual and corporate traders and investors can watch this show to monitor current trends in the stock trade and get the latest insights from the experts.

    Internet Banking: Relevance in a Changing World

    Surprising, but true – Internet-based activity is not the preserve of the young “digital native” generation alone. A 2008 survey says that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) uses Internet banking significantly more than any other demographic segment, with two thirds of Internet users in this age group banking online.

    Gen X users have also professed their preference for applications such as Facebook, to share, connect and be part of a larger community.

    This is some irony in this, since online banking, as we know it today, offers minimal interactivity. Unlike in a branch, where the comfort of two way interaction facilitates the consummation of a variety of transactions, the one way street of e-banking has only managed to enable the more routine tasks, such as balance inquiry or funds transfer.

    It’s not hard to put two and two together. A clear opportunity exists for banks that can transform today’s passive Internet banking offering into one that provides a more widespread and interactive customer experience.

    It is therefore imperative that banks transform their online offering, such that it matches the new expectations of customers. Moreover, Internet banking must journey to popular online customer hangouts, rather than wait for customers to come to it.

    There are clear indications that the shift towards a “next generation” online banking environment has already been set in motion. It is only a matter of time before these trends become the norm.

    Leveraging of Social Networks

    Forward thinking banks are leveraging existing social networks on external sites to increase their visibility among interested groups. They are also deploying social software technology on their own sites to engage the same communities in two way discussions. Thus, their Internet banking has assumed a more pervasive persona – customers are engaging with the bank, along with its products and services even when they’re not actually transacting online.

    Heightened visibility apart, banks can gain tremendous customer insight from such unstructured, informal interactions. For example, a discussion on the uncertain financial future among a group of 18 to 25 years old could be a signal to banks to offer long term investment products to a segment that was previously not considered a target. Going one step further, a positive buzz around a newly launched service can create valuable word-of-mouth advertising for the business.

    Collaborating through Web 2.0

    The collaborative aspect of Web 2.0 applications has enabled banks to draw customers inside their fold more than ever before. Traditional methods such as focus group discussions or market research suffer from the disadvantages of high cost, limited scope and potential to introduce bias. Feedback forms merely serve as a post-mortem. In contrast, Web 2.0 has the ability to carry a vast audience along right from the start, and continue to do so perpetually. Thus, an interested community of prospects and customers participate in co-creating products and services which can fulfill their expectations.

    The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 enables delivery of e-banking across multiple online locations and web-based gadgets such as Yahoo!Widgets, Windows Live or the iPhone. This means next generation online banking customers will enjoy heightened access and convenience

    A New York based firm of analysts found that 15% of the 70 banks tracked by them had adopted Web 2.0, a number of them having done so within the last 12 months.

    Standard Chartered Bank employees connect with their colleagues through Facebook and use the platform to share knowledge, clarify questions and participate in discussions on ongoing company activities.

    Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.

    Personalization of Online Banking

    Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups – typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That’s in sharp contradiction to how banking organizations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a “segment of one”, across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit. For instance, a specific home page for home loan customers and another for private banking clients could well be a possibility in future.

    Interestingly, National Bank of Kuwait had the foresight to do this several years ago – they enabled customers to determine which products they would view and access, and were rewarded with a dramatic increase in online transactions.

    Money Monitor from Yes Bank allows customers to choose their landing page – for example, they can set “all transactions”, “net worth” or “portfolio” as their default view. Other features include the ability to categories transactions as per customers’ convenience and the printing of custom reports.

    Empowerment Online

    Beyond doubt, Internet banking has created a more informed, empowered class of customers. This is set to climb to the next level once customers are allowed to proactively participate in many more transaction-related processes. The Internet has already made it possible for customers to compare product loan offerings, simulate financial scenarios and design custom retirement portfolios. Going forward, they would be able to consummate related transactions – which means, after comparing interest rates, they could originate a loan online, and once secured, they can begin to repay it online as well.

    Portalization

    The emergence of Web 2.0 technology coupled with banks’ desire to personalize their e-banking to the highest degree is likely to result in “portalization” of Internet banking. The idea of banking customers being able to create their own spaces online, filled with all that is relevant to them, is not that far-fetched. Customers can personalize their Internet banking page to reflect the positions of multiple accounts across different banks; they could include their credit card information, subscribe to their favorite financial news, consolidate their physical assets position, share their experiences with a group and do more – all from one “place”.

    Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple “accounts” (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs. Users can customize their pages as described earlier.

    As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and “due defense”. While it is every marketer’s dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity. Therefore, before an individual is allowed to participate in a networking forum, he or she must have built up a favorable track record with the bank. The individual must be a recognized customer of the bank, having used a minimum number of products over a reasonable length of time. Qualitative information about the person’s interaction with the bank’s support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call center, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the “right” type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.

    Collaborative Web 2.0 applications may necessitate opening up banks’ websites to outside technology and information exchange with third party sites, raising the spectre of data and infrastructure security. A robust mechanism of checks and balances must be built to ensure that the third party sites are secure, appropriately certified and pose no threat to the home banks’ sites. Likewise, before a third party widget is allowed to be brought on to a site, it must have passed through stringent security control.

    Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks’ sites.

    It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalization envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks’ or financial service providers’ websites into the home bank’s site. The home bank must ensure that its customers’ personal or transaction related information, which may be shared with the other providers, is not susceptible to leakage or outright misuse.

    Banks will do well to partner with an Internet banking solution provider which has not only the expertise to translate their vision into a cutting edge e-banking experience for the user, but also the foresight to define boundaries for safety. With security concerns adequately addressed, next generation Internet banking is full of exciting possibilities. Banks that seize the opportunity may find that Internet banking can become a means of differentiating themselves from competitors, rather than a mere cost cutting tool. Clearly, providing a more powerful and interactive e-banking experience, is the way forward.

    Where to Get Fast Money Online the Legitimate Way

    Making fast money online is possible as the internet is quick-changing and transactions are all over the world, you can actually find great moneymaking opportunities online. Of course, you can work online, do business online, sell something online and even earn from your expertise online.

    If you are resourceful enough to learn some tips and skills that are needed to be able to sell online or make good profits online, you can also earn fast as well. If you are interested to find additional income or earn great commissions online, here are a few avenues where you can learn how to make fast money online the legitimate way.

    – Write and make profits. Writing is a skill that is in-demand online, as websites need content and it is important to convey valuable information online through writing to be able to sell something or reach out to potential customers online. if you have a flair in writing, you can actually make fast money by accepting writing jobs, writing for websites and clients or writing your own eBook and selling it online. You can also write for online newspapers, write ad copies for companies and businesses and write product reviews for a fee. There are endless opportunities and you also get to be paid once you have finished your tasks. If you want a faster turn out, then speed up your writing as well. The more projects you finish in a period of time, the better you can make good money.

    – Graphic and website designing. Another in demand skill online that can help you make fast money online is graphic design. Graphic design or website designing is needed on websites and in most aspect of the internet and since this is a specialized job, you can also get good pay out of it. Like writing, you can also get fast money online in this area. If you want to earn more, then you also have to speed up your time working on your design projects without compromising quality as well.

    – Foreign exchange. The currency market works around the clock and this can be fast and quick. With the convenience of the internet, you can also make fast money online through foreign exchange or currency trading. However, even though this is a profitable venture, this can also be risky and full of uncertainties, thus make sure you have the confidence and the guts to get yourself into such a risky business to make good and fast money online as well.

    – Consultancy. For those who are masters in some fields of expertise, you can also share your expertise to the online world for a fee and start to making money as well.

    If you are good in selling, then you can also sell something and anything online to make fast money. There are a number of good websites online where you can actually sign up and sell your products. Whether they are digital or something you have rummaged in your closet that you don’t need anymore, you can actually sell any items online for fast cash. Online auctions are particularly popular, thus you may also want to jump in to that trend as well.

    Understanding Best Payday Loans to Make Them a Rule Rather than an Exception

    Any loan resulting in a release of cash during times of immediate financial crises would be termed as best payday loan. It is only after the purpose for which the loan was taken gets satisfied that we start thinking critically of the loan. It will be wrong to term this tendency as selfishness. Payday loans are actually made dearer by loan providers. Many borrowers actually decide to take loans at any terms stated by the lenders because of the urgency involved in the situation. Lenders will not miss to profit of this opportunity. Thus, we find best payday loans costing dearly to its borrowers. High rates of interest and large fees are often appended to the payday loan, thus increasing the cost of the payday loan.

    However, this was not what you had expected of the best payday loan. High interest rates were expected, but not of the extent that adorns your payday loan now. Neither had you expected that the lender would charge as high a fees. It is when the payday loan comes over for repayment that the expensiveness of the loan comes into view.

    Though it may be too late to think of this now, this serves as a lesson for the next time that you plan to take a payday loan again. Proper planning ensures that the payday loan can be conveniently termed as a best payday loan.

    Firstly, borrowers need to understand that payday loans differ from the other regular loans in terms of the purpose to which they are employed. The needs to which the payday loan is employed are characterized with urgency. These are generally routine monthly expenses, requiring only a small amount towards their disbursal. Thus, regular loans, where large amounts are exchanged, may not be appropriate. Moreover, regular loans that take several weeks to be approved and sanctioned may not be appropriate for these expenses because of the urgency involved.

    Individuals, who may have ended their monthly paycheque before the next paycheque becomes due, find themselves hapless in making any extra payments.Best payday loans provide access to funds at a very short notice. Through payday loans, borrowers can draw funds in the range of £80 to £400. Depending on the needs of the borrowers and the lending policy adhered to by the lender, the borrowable amount may further go upwards. These funds will be used by borrowers to expend with ease.

    Payday loans are short-term loans. The amount has to be returned with the interest within a month; sometimes within weeks. Lenders may employ different methods to get back the money. The most popular of these is the post-dated cheque system. The cheque is dated for presentation on the desired date. On the specific date, the amount is automatically cut from the borrowers account. For this purpose, some loan providers would require the borrower to have a checking account.

    The post-dated cheque may also serve as collateral. In this sense, Best payday loans may also be regarded as secured loans. Borrowers, who desire to have best payday loans without the clause of collateral, will have to further search the UK financial market. The concept of unsecured payday loans is fast catching up with lenders in the UK, and it may not be much difficult to have best payday loans without collateral.

    There are certain essentials that the borrower needs to have in order to become eligible for best payday loans. The borrower needs to be employed with a regular income that is transferred directly into his bank account. The borrower must have a chequebook and a checking account as mentioned before.

    An important advantage of best payday loans is that credit history will not be checked. Borrowers with bad credit history will specially find the clause beneficial. Many loan providers may not even require borrowers to present their social security number.

    Online application and online processing suit best payday loans. Best payday loans need to be approved fast in order to meet the immediate needs. Online applications transfer personal and loan details quickly to the loan providers. Thus, online application contributes towards a faster approval of best payday loans.

    Though best payday loans present a convenient method of drawing cash during emergencies, they must not be misused. Expert advice ensures that borrowers have enough knowledge to make a proper use of payday loans.

    Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Payday Loans But Were Afraid to Ask

    A payday loan is a small short term loan you can use to cover expenditure until your next payday. You can apply online and the decision to loan you the money is made almost straight away. In most cases the whole application can be completed online and the money loaned can be credited into your bank account on the same day as you make your application.

    A payday loan is an unsecured loan, so it is not dependent on collateral, such as you owning a house or car etc.

    Generally when you make your first application you can borrow any amount up to £300, depending on your take home pay. You are more likely to be approved the less you want to borrow, so it is advisable to borrow only what you need. Once you have successfully repaid loans with one particular company they may then offer to lend you anything up to about £750 in subsequent loans.

    Payday loans can provide a useful solution for short term cash flow problems.

    Who can apply for a Payday loan?

    In order to be eligible for a payday loan you must be over 18 years old and in employment with a take home wage of at least £750 per month. You must also have a bank account with a valid debit card.

    Even if you have bad credit history you should still be able to obtain a payday loan as long as you fulfill the above criteria.

    How do you get a Payday loan?

    The majority of payday loans are available online, so there is no delay with faxing or posting of documents. The application process is quick and easy to complete. You will be asked for your name, address, details about your monthly income and employment, when your next payday is, along with the amount you wish to borrow and your bank account details.

    Once you have submitted your application you should hear back from the payday loan provider within minutes. They will email you with their decision to the email address you have registered with your application.

    Payday loan providers partly make their decision as whether to lend you money dependent on the amount you want to borrow compared to the amount you earn. Only borrow what you need, the less you borrow the more likely that your application will be accepted and the smaller the amount of interest you will accrue.

    If your application is successful you will be sent, by email, your loan agreement showing the amount that will be lent to you, the repayment date and the amount of interest you will pay on the repayment date. Along with the loan agreement you should also be sent loan conditions. These loan conditions should outline your rights under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 along with details about repaying the loan, cancelling the loan and the use the personal information you supply when applying for the payday loan.

    If you are happy to proceed you sign online by providing details of your name and answering a security question such as your mothers’ maiden name. Then, email this back to the loan provider and the money will be deposited into the bank account you registered at the application process. The money can be deposited in your bank account on the same day you make the application, so this is a very fast and efficient way of borrowing money short term.

    How do I repay the loan?

    You will need to repay the loan amount and the interest accrued on the repayment date as specified in the loan agreement. The repayment date is usually your payday, hence the name payday loan.

    The repayment will be collected by the loan provider by debiting the bank account you registered at the application process, which is the bank account into which you get your wages paid.

    Repayment over a longer period

    Payday loans may be extended if you find yourself in a position to be unable to satisfy all or part of the amount due on the repayment date. If this happens it is recommended that you contact your payday loan provider as soon as possible and explain your circumstances to them. They will then be able to explain your options and how to go about extending your loan.

    Even if you are not able to fully settle the repayment amount, it is advisable to pay off as much as possible on the repayment date. This will help to keep the amount of interest you owe to a minimum. Some companies may charge you additional fees for extending your loan, you should check if this is the case before you sign your loan agreement.

    Regulation of Payday Loan Companies

    Properly regulated payday loan companies must adhere to strict laws governing the finance industry.

    As with any financial product you apply for it is always advisable to check that the company offering the loan is properly regulated. The payday loan company you are applying to should show its Consumer Credit License number within its loan conditions and it should also be authorized by the Office of Fair Trading. If you are in any doubt as to whether the payday loan company you are considering applying to is fully regulated then you are within your rights to contact either of these bodies for further information.

    As long as the payday loan company you are applying to is properly regulated, there will be a recognized body to make any complaints you may have to and you can be assured that you will not be subject to any unfair practices.

    What are the benefits of a Payday loan?

    Fast

    One of the main benefits of a payday loan is the speed at which the cash can be credited to you. The money you need can be available to you in your bank account on the same day that you make the application. This can provide valuable assistance if you have a short term cash flow problem and need money in an emergency.

    Simple

    The application process is very simple, it takes just minutes to apply for a payday loan and you do not have waste time posting or faxing documents to the payday loan provider, as you would with other more traditional high street loans.

    Poor Credit History

    Payday loans are available to people with a poor credit history. This is because payday loan companies do not solely make their decision to lend based on a persons credit history. As long as you fulfill the application criteria you have a good chance of obtaining a payday loan. For many people a payday loan may be the only way they are able to obtain credit, especially in the current financial climate where the majority of lenders are unwilling to provide loans altogether, never mind to a person with a poor credit history.

    Use of the Loan Money

    You do not have to tell the payday loan provider what you need the payday loan for. You can use the money for whatever you want. You may need money in an emergency which can not wait until payday for instance; emergency medical or dental treatment, to settle a bill quickly, extra spending money on holiday or even for a romantic weekend away. The choice is yours as long as you make the repayment due on the repayment date.

    No Upfront Costs

    There are no upfront costs associated with a payday loan. You do not pay anything back until the repayment date you have agreed to in the loan agreement.

    Why does the APR appear high on payday loans?

    The APR applied to payday loans appears at first glance to be high. This is very misleading, but there is a simple reason why this figure looks so high. APR is an Annual Percentage Rate, and as such is calculated over a whole year (365 days). However, a payday loan is taken usually only over a number of days or weeks.

    The APR calculation was not designed to apply to very short term loans such as payday loans. It was designed to apply to long term loans in existence for a year or more. It is really a theoretical figure than enables people to compare similar longer term loan products, like mortgages or ongoing credit balances.

    Rather than relying on the APR rate it is more advisable to look directly at the loan agreement to see exactly how much interest you will be charged for the period of your payday loan. Some companies have a standard interest charge for the amount you wish to borrow regardless of the duration of the loan. It is then up to you to decide whether you will be able to repay both the cash advance you receive initially and the interest amount on the repayment date.

    To Conclude

    Many people do not have savings or access to credit cards or more traditional loans and so the convenience of a regulated payday loan provides piece of mind should the occasion arise that they need some money quickly.

    If you need money in a hurry, can not wait until payday and are confident that you can make the necessary repayments on the repayment date, this could be the ideal solution for you.

    Overall, payday loans are convenient, easy to access and offer a viable option for people who require money quickly for whatever reason.

    Fast Money Recap – The Basics

    Many people nowadays want to earn fast money. One of the ways to accomplish that is by learning the trend in the stock market. One of the most watched business programs in the United States is the Fast Money program by CNBC. Did you miss an episode? Do not worry; you can always watch it through Fast Money Recap.

    If you want to stay updated on the stock trading trends, then the program to watch is Fast Money Recap. The show airs for about 60 minutes and is shot on location at NASDAQ Market Site, New York City. It is produced by CNBC and serves as a ticker that shows index symbols and security similar to an old telegraph messaging set-up. Tickers flashed on the program uses information from various third-party companies like the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), the NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange and Reuters. In other words it serves as a business news band around the globe. The said ticker is now shown in between commercial breaks.

    They even have blogs to keep its viewers updated with how the money moves in the stock market. This American stock trading show has been in live telecast for almost six years or from 2006. Getting a large following the program has undergone re-formats to suit trader’s choices. The program also talks about exchange-traded funds, commodities and options trading as well. There are usually Wall Street trading experts that will discuss about how-to invest well, technical analysis on the economy and merits of the debate regarding a certain sector or stock.

    Why watch Fast Money Recap? This has everything a serious trader needs: the views of each stock owner on their stocks, stock predictions and disclosures by the traders. Most traders would watch this an hour the trading closes to know how the stock market did for that day. This will give you an in-depth knowledge on how to earn money fast in the stock market, which trends to follow and what other investment schemes are effective for you.

    You can get updates of Fast Money Recap through their blogs, or it can be sent straight on your mobile phone. Get the leverage in getting informed regarding business and stock trading news. Knowing how to invest, when to place your hard-earned money online and in the stock market will spell the difference between wealth and bankruptcy so make sure that you are armed with knowledge before investing.

    Where to Deduct Tax Preparation Fees

    Where should an individual taxpayer deduct tax preparation fees? The obvious answer might be on Schedule A of Form 1040 as a miscellaneous deduction. Are tax preparation fees deductible only on Schedule A for all taxpayers? Thankfully, the answer is no.

    Deducting tax preparation fees on Schedule A will provide little or no benefit for most taxpayers because the total miscellaneous deductions must exceed two percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income to provide any benefit. In addition, the taxpayer’s total itemized deductions must usually exceed the standard deduction amount to provide any tax benefit.

    The IRS ruled in Rev. Rul. 92-29 that taxpayers may deduct tax preparation fees related to a business, a farm, or rental and royalty income on the schedules where the taxpayer reports such income.

    A taxpayer who is self-employed may deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the business, including schedules such as depreciation schedules, on Schedule C of Form 1040 as a business expense. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule C save the taxpayer income tax and self-employment tax.

    A taxpayer who is self-employed as a farmer would deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the farm on Schedule F of Form 1040. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule F save the taxpayer income tax and self-employment tax.

    A taxpayer who has rental and/or royalty income reported on Schedule E of Form 1040 would deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the rental and/or royalty income on Schedule E. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule E save the taxpayer income tax. However, the tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule E do not save the taxpayer any self-employment tax because the rental and/or royalty income reported on Schedule E is not subject to self-employment tax.

    A taxpayer may not deduct all of the tax preparation fees on Schedules C, E, and F of Form 1040. The tax preparer should provide a statement to the taxpayer that indicates how much of the tax preparation fee was related to the taxpayer’s business, farm, and/or rental and/or royalty income. The taxpayer may deduct the remainder of the tax preparation fee only on Schedule A.

    If the tax preparer does not provide the taxpayer with a detailed statement showing how much of the tax preparation fee was for the taxpayer’s business, farm, and/or rental and/or royalty income, the taxpayer shoud ask the tax preparer for an itemized statement. If the tax preparer will not provide an itemized statement, the taxpayer should use a reasonable allocation. In that case, the taxpayer should seriously consider using a different tax preparer next year.

    Here is an example. Assume that the taxpayer is self-employed and also owns rental real estate. The tax preparation fee for the taxpayer’s Form 1040 and related schedules for 2005 was $600. The tax preparer states that of the $600 total fee, $300 was related to the taxpayer’s business, $200 was related to the rental real estate, and the remainng $100 was related to other parts of the taxpayer’s income tax return. The taxpayer paid the $600 in February 2006.

    On the taxpayer’s income tax return for 2006, the taxpayer may deduct the $600 tax preparation fee as follows: $300 on Schedule C, $200 on Schedule E, and $100 on Schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction.

    Banking Fraud – Prevention and Control

    Banking Fraud is posing threat to Indian Economy. Its vibrant effect can be understood be the fact that in the year 2004 number of Cyber Crime were 347 in India which rose to 481 in 2005 showing an increase of 38.5% while I.P.C. category crime stood at 302 in 2005 including 186 cases of cyber fraud and 68 cases cyber forgery. Thus it becomes very important that occurrence of such frauds should be minimized. More upsetting is the fact that such frauds are entering in Banking Sector as well.

    In the present day, Global Scenario Banking System has acquired new dimensions. Banking did spread in India. Today, the banking system has entered into competitive markets in areas covering resource mobilization, human resource development, customer services and credit management as well.

    Indian’s banking system has several outstanding achievements to its credit, the most striking of which is its reach. In fact, Indian banks are now spread out into the remotest areas of our country. Indian banking, which was operating in a highly comfortable and protected environment till the beginning of 1990s, has been pushed into the choppy waters of intense competition.

    A sound banking system should possess three basic characteristics to protect depositor’s interest and public faith. Theses are (i) a fraud free culture, (ii) a time tested Best Practice Code, and (iii) an in house immediate grievance remedial system. All these conditions are their missing or extremely weak in India. Section 5(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 defines banking… “Banking is the accepting for the purpose of lending or investment, deposits of money from the purpose of lending or investment, deposits of money from the public, repayable on demand or otherwise and withdraw able by cheque, draft, order or otherwise.” But if his money has fraudulently been drawn from the bank the latter is under strict obligation to pay the depositor. The bank therefore has to ensure at all times that the money of the depositors is not drawn fraudulently. Time has come when the security aspects of the banks have to be dealt with on priority basis.

    The banking system in our country has been taking care of all segments of our socioeconomic set up. The Article contains a discussion on the rise of banking frauds and various methods that can be used to avoid such frauds. A bank fraud is a deliberate act of omission or commission by any person carried out in the course of banking transactions or in the books of accounts, resulting in wrongful gain to any person for a temporary period or otherwise, with or without any monetary loss to the bank. The relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Contract Act, and Negotiable Instruments Act relating to banking frauds has been cited in the present Article.

    EVOLUTION OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA

    Banking system occupies an important place in a nation’s economy. A banking institution is indispensable in a modern society. It plays a pivotal role in economic development of a country and forms the core of the money market in an advanced country.

    Banking industry in India has traversed a long way to assume its present stature. It has undergone a major structural transformation after the nationalization of 14 major commercial banks in 1969 and 6 more on 15 April 1980. The Indian banking system is unique and perhaps has no parallels in the banking history of any country in the world.

    RESERVE BANK OF INDIA-ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL OBJECTIVE

    The Reserve Bank of India has an important role to play in the maintenance of the exchange value of the rupee in view of the close interdependence of international trade and national economic growth and well being. This aspect is of the wider responsibly of the central bank for the maintenance of economic and financial stability. For this the bank is entrusted with the custody and the management of country’s international reserves; it acts also as the agent of the government in respect of India’s membership of the international monetary fund. With economic development the bank also performs a variety of developmental and promotional functions which in the past were registered being outside the normal purview of central banking. It also acts an important regulator.

    BANK FRAUDS: CONCEPT AND DIMENSIONS

    Banks are the engines that drive the operations in the financial sector, which is vital for the economy. With the nationalization of banks in 1969, they also have emerged as engines for social change. After Independence, the banks have passed through three stages. They have moved from the character based lending to ideology based lending to today competitiveness based lending in the context of India’s economic liberalization policies and the process of linking with the global economy.

    While the operations of the bank have become increasingly significant banking frauds in banks are also increasing and fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and ingenious. In a bid to keep pace with the changing times, the banking sector has diversified it business manifold. And the old philosophy of class banking has been replaced by mass banking. The challenge in management of social responsibility with economic viability has increased.

    DEFINITION OF FRAUD

    Fraud is defined as “any behavior by which one person intends to gain a dishonest advantage over another”. In other words , fraud is an act or omission which is intended to cause wrongful gain to one person and wrongful loss to the other, either by way of concealment of facts or otherwise.

    Fraud is defined u/s 421 of the Indian Penal Code and u/s 17 of the Indian Contract Act. Thus essential elements of frauds are:

    1. There must be a representation and assertion;

    2. It must relate to a fact;

    3. It must be with the knowledge that it is false or without belief in its truth; and

    4. It must induce another to act upon the assertion in question or to do or not to do certain act.

    BANK FRAUDS

    Losses sustained by banks as a result of frauds exceed the losses due to robbery, dacoity, burglary and theft-all put together. Unauthorized credit facilities are extended for illegal gratification such as case credit allowed against pledge of goods, hypothecation of goods against bills or against book debts. Common modus operandi are, pledging of spurious goods, inletting the value of goods, hypothecating goods to more than one bank, fraudulent removal of goods with the knowledge and connivance of in negligence of bank staff, pledging of goods belonging to a third party. Goods hypothecated to a bank are found to contain obsolete stocks packed in between goods stocks and case of shortage in weight is not uncommon.

    An analysis made of cases brings out broadly the under mentioned four major elements responsible for the commission of frauds in banks.

    1. Active involvement of the staff-both supervisor and clerical either independent of external elements or in connivance with outsiders.

    2. Failure on the part of the bank staff to follow meticulously laid down instructions and guidelines.

    3. External elements perpetuating frauds on banks by forgeries or manipulations of cheques, drafts and other instruments.

    4. There has been a growing collusion between business, top banks executives, civil servants and politicians in power to defraud the banks, by getting the rules bent, regulations flouted and banking norms thrown to the winds.

    FRAUDS-PREVENTION AND DETECTION

    A close study of any fraud in bank reveals many common basic features. There may have been negligence or dishonesty at some stage, on part of one or more of the bank employees. One of them may have colluded with the borrower. The bank official may have been putting up with the borrower’s sharp practices for a personal gain. The proper care which was expected of the staff, as custodians of banks interest may not have been taken. The bank’s rules and procedures laid down in the Manual instructions and the circulars may not have been observed or may have been deliberately ignored.

    Bank frauds are the failure of the banker. It does not mean that the external frauds do not defraud banks. But if the banker is upright and knows his job, the task of defrauder will become extremely difficult, if not possible.

    Detection of Frauds

    Despite all care and vigilance there may still be some frauds, though their number, periodicity and intensity may be considerably reduced. The following procedure would be very helpful if taken into consideration:

    1. All relevant data-papers, documents etc. Should be promptly collected. Original vouchers or other papers forming the basis of the investigation should be kept under lock and key.

    2. All persons in the bank who may be knowing something about the time, place a modus operandi of the fraud should be examined and their statements should be recorded.

    3. The probable order of events should thereafter be reconstructed by the officer, in his own mind.

    4. It is advisable to keep the central office informed about the fraud and further developments in regard thereto.

    Classification of Frauds and Action Required by Banks

    The Reserve Bank of India had set-up a high level committee in 1992 which was headed by Mr. A… Ghosh, the then Dy. Governor Reserve Bank of India to inquire into various aspects relating to frauds malpractice in banks. The committee had noticed/observed three major causes for perpetration of fraud as given hereunder:

    1. Laxity in observance of the laid down system and procedures by operational and supervising staff.

    2. Over confidence reposed in the clients who indulged in breach of trust.

    3. Unscrupulous clients by taking advantages of the laxity in observance of established, time tested safeguards also committed frauds.

    In order to have uniformity in reporting cases of frauds, RBI considered the question of classification of bank frauds on the basis of the provisions of the IPC.
    Given below are the Provisions and their Remedial measures that can be taken.

    1. Cheating (Section 415, IPC)

    Remedial Measures.

    The preventive measures in respect of the cheating can be concentrated on cross-checking regarding identity, genuineness, verification of particulars, etc. in respect of various instruments as well as persons involved in encashment or dealing with the property of the bank.

    2. Criminal misappropriation of property (Section 403 IPC).

    Remedial Measure

    Criminal misappropriation of property, presuppose the custody or control of funds or property, so subjected, with that of the person committing such frauds. Preventive measures, for this class of fraud should be taken at the level the custody or control of the funds or property of the bank generally vests. Such a measure should be sufficient, it is extended to these persons who are actually handling or having actual custody or control of the fund or movable properties of the bank.

    3. Criminal breach of trust (Section 405, IPC)

    Remedial Measure

    Care should be taken from the initial step when a person comes to the bank. Care needs to be taken at the time of recruitment in bank as well.

    4. Forgery (Section 463, IPC)

    Remedial Measure

    Both the prevention and detection of frauds through forgery are important for a bank. Forgery of signatures is the most frequent fraud in banking business. The bank should take special care when the instrument has been presented either bearer or order; in case a bank pays forged instrument he would be liable for the loss to the genuine costumer.

    5. Falsification of accounts (Section 477A)

    Remedial Measure

    Proper diligence is required while filling of forms and accounts. The accounts should be rechecked on daily basis.

    6. Theft (Section 378, IPC)

    Remedial Measures

    Encashment of stolen’ cheque can be prevented if the bank clearly specify the age, sex and two visible identify action marks on the body of the person traveler’s cheques on the back of the cheque leaf. This will help the paying bank to easily identify the cheque holder. Theft from lockers and safe deposit vaults are not easy to commit because the master-key remains with the banker and the individual key of the locker is handed over to the costumer with due acknowledgement.

    7. Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 A, IPC)

    In the case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. IBS Prasad Rao and Other, the accused, who were clerks in a cooperative Central Bank were all convicted of the offences of cheating under Section 420 read along with Section 120 A. all the four accused had conspired together to defraud the bank by making false demand drafts and receipt vouchers.

    8. Offences relating to currency notes and banks notes (Section 489 A-489E, IPC)
    These sections provide for the protection of currency-notes and bank notes from forgery. The offences under section are:

    (a) Counterfeiting currency notes or banks.

    (b) Selling, buying or using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes. Knowing the same to be forged or counterfeit.

    (c) Possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank-notes, knowing or counterfeit and intending to use the same as genuine.

    (d) Making or passing instruments or materials for forging or counterfeiting currency notes or banks.

    (e) Making or using documents resembling currency-notes or bank notes.

    Most of the above provisions are Cognizable Offenses under Section 2(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

    FRAUD PRONE AREAS IN DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS

    The following are the potential fraud prone areas in Banking Sector. In addition to those areas I have also given kinds of fraud that are common in these areas.

    Savings Bank Accounts

    The following are some of the examples being played in respect of savings bank accounts:

    (a) Cheques bearing the forged signatures of depositors may be presented and paid.

    (b) Specimen signatures of the depositors may be changed, particularly after the death of depositors,

    (c) Dormant accounts may be operated by dishonest persons with or without collusion of bank employees, and

    (d) Unauthorized withdrawals from customer’s accounts by employee of the bank maintaining the savings ledger and later destruction of the recent vouchers by them.

    Current Account Fraud

    The following types are likely to be committed in case of current accounts.

    (a) Opening of frauds in the names of limited companies or firms by unauthorized persons;

    (b) Presentation and payment of cheques bearing forged signatures;

    (c) Breach of trust by the employees of the companies or firms possessing cheque leaves duly signed by the authorized signatures;

    (d) Fraudulent alteration of the amount of the cheques and getting it paid either at the counter or though another bank.

    Frauds In Case Of Advances

    Following types may be committed in respect of advances:

    (a) Spurious gold ornaments may be pledged.

    (b) Sub-standard goods may be pledged with the bank or their value may be shown at inflated figures.
    (c) Same goods may be hypothecated in favour of different banks.

    LEGAL REGIME TO CONTROL BANK FRAUDS

    Frauds constitute white-collar crime, committed by unscrupulous persons deftly advantage of loopholes existing in systems/procedures. The ideal situation is one there is no fraud, but taking ground realities of the nation’s environment and human nature’s fragility, an institution should always like to keep the overreach of frauds at the minimum occurrence level.

    Following are the relevant sections relating to Bank Frauds

    Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)

    (a) Section 23 “Wrongful gain”.-

    “Wrongful gain” is gain by unlawful means of property to which the person gaining is not legally entitled.

    (b) “Wrongful loss”

    “Wrongful loss” is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled.
    (c) Gaining wrongfully.

    Losing wrongfully-A person is said to gain wrongfully when such person retains wrongfully, as well as when such person acquires wrongfully. A person is said to lose wrongfully when such person is wrongfully kept out of any property, as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of property.

    (d) Section 24. “Dishonestly”

    Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person, is said to do that thing “dishonestly”.

    (e) Section 28. “Counterfeit”

    A person is said to “counterfeit” who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practice deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practiced.

    BREACH OF TRUST

    1. Section 408- Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant.

    2. Section 409- Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.

    3. Section 416- Cheating by personating

    4. Section 419- Punishment for cheating by personation.

    OFFENSES RELATING TO DOCUMENTS

    1) Section 463-Forgery

    2) Section 464 -Making a false document

    3) Section 465- Punishment for forgery.

    4) Section 467- Forgery of valuable security, will, etc

    5) Section 468- Forgery for purpose of cheating

    6) Section 469- Forgery for purpose of harming reputation

    7) Section 470- Forged document.

    8) Section 471- Using as genuine a forged document

    9) Section 477- Fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security.

    10) Section 477A- Falsification of accounts.

    THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA ACT, 1934

    Issue of demand bills and notes Section 31.

    Provides that only Bank and except provided by Central Government shall be authorized to draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand, or borrow, owe or take up any sum or sums of money on the bills, hundis or notes payable to bearer on demand of any such person

    THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881

    Holder’s right to duplicate of lost bill Section 45A.

    1. The finder of lost bill or note acquires no title to it. The title remains with the true owner. He is entitled to recover from the true owner.

    2. If the finder obtains payment on a lost bill or note in due course, the payee may be able to get a valid discharge for it. But the true owner can recover the money due on the instrument as damages from the finder.

    Section 58

    When an Instrument is obtained by unlawful means or for unlawful consideration no possessor or endorse who claims through the person who found or so obtained the instrument is entitled to receive the amount due thereon from such maker, accept or holder, or from any party prior to such holder, unless such possessor or endorse is, or some person through whom he claims was, a holder thereof in due course.

    Section 85:

    Cheque payable to order.

    1. By this section, bankers are placed in privileged position. It provides that if an order cheque is endorsed by or on behalf of the payee, and the banker on whom it is drawn pays it in due course, the banker is discharged. He can debit his customer with the amount so paid, though the endorsement of the payee might turn out to be a forgery.

    2. The claim protection under this section the banker has to prove that the payment was a payment in due course, in good faith and without negligence.

    Section 87. Effect of material alteration

    Under this section any alteration made without the consent of party would be void. Alteration would be valid only if is made with common intention of the party.

    Section 138. Dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the account.

    Where any cheque drawn by a person on an account maintained by him with a banker for payment of any amount of money to another person from out of that account for the discharge, in whole or in part, of any debt or other liability, is returned by the bank unpaid. either because of the amount of money standing to the credit of that account is insufficient to honor the cheque or that it exceeds the amount arranged to be paid from that account by an agreement made with that bank, such person shall be deemed to have committed an offense and shall, without prejudice.

    Section 141(1) Offenses by companies.

    If the person committing an offense under Section 138 is a company, every person who, at the time the offense was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offense and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

    SECURITY REGIME IN BANKING SYSTEM

    Security implies sense of safety and of freedom from danger or anxiety. When a banker takes a collateral security, say in the form of gold or a title deed, against the money lent by him, he has a sense of safety and of freedom from anxiety about the possible non-payment of the loan by the borrower. These should be communicated to all strata of the organization through appropriate means. Before staff managers should analyze current practices. Security procedure should be stated explicitly and agreed upon by each user in the specific environment. Such practices ensure information security and enhance availability. Bank security is essentially a defense against unforced attacks by thieves, dacoits and burglars.

    PHYSICAL SECURITY MEASURES-CONCEPT

    A large part of banks security depends on social security measures. Physical security measures can be defined as those specific and special protective or defensive measures adopted to deter, detect, delay, defend and defeat or to perform any one or more of these functions against culpable acts, both covert and covert and acclamation natural events. The protective or defensive, measures adopted involve construction, installation and deployment of structures, equipment and persons respectively.

    The following are few guidelines to check malpractices:

    1. To rotate the cash work within the staff.

    2. One person should not continue on the same seat for more than two months.

    3. Daybook should not be written by the Cashier where an other person is available to the job

    4. No cash withdrawal should be allowed within passbook in case of withdrawal by pay order.

    5. The branch manager should ensure that all staff members have recorder their presence in the attendance registrar, before starting work.

    Execution of Documents

    1. A bank officer must adopt a strict professional approach in the execution of documents. The ink and the pen used for the execution must be maintained uniformly.

    2. Bank documents should not be typed on a typewriter for execution. These should be invariably handwritten for execution.

    3. The execution should always be done in the presence of the officer responsible for obtain them,
    4. The borrowers should be asked to sign in full signatures in same style throughout the documents.

    5. Unless there is a specific requirement in the document, it should not be got attested or witnessed as such attestation may change the character of the instruments and the documents may subject to ad volrem stamp duty.

    6. The paper on which the bank documents are made should be pilfer proof. It should be unique and available to the banks only.

    7. The printing of the bank documents should have highly artistic intricate and complex graphics.

    8. The documents executed between Banker and Borrowers must be kept in safe custody,

    CHANGES IN LEGISLATION AFTER ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS

    1. Section 91 of IPC shall be amended to include electronic documents also.

    2. Section 92 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 shall be amended to include commuter based communications

    3. Section 93 of Bankers Book Evidence Act, 1891 has been amended to give legal sanctity for books of account maintained in the electronic form by the banks.

    4. Section 94 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939 shall be amended to facilitate electronic fund transfers between the financial institutions and the banks. A new clause (pp) has been inserted in Section 58(2).

    RECENT TRENDS OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA

    In the banking and financial sectors, the introduction of electronic technology for transactions, settlement of accounts, book-keeping and all other related functions is now an imperative. Increasingly, whether we like it or not, all banking transactions are going to be electronic. The thrust is on commercially important centers, which account for 65 percent of banking business in terms of value. There are now a large number of fully computerized branches across the country.

    A switchover from cash-based transactions to paper-based transactions is being accelerated. Magnetic Ink character recognition clearing of cheques is now operational in many cities, beside the four metro cities. In India, the design, management and regulation of electronically-based payments system are becoming the focus of policy deliberations. The imperatives of developing an effective, efficient and speedy payment and settlement systems are getting sharper with introduction of new instruments such as credit cards, telebanking, ATMs, retail Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Electronic Clearing Services (ECS). We are moving towards smart cards, credit and financial Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for straight through processing.

    Financial Fraud (Investigation, Prosecution, Recovery and Restoration of property) Bill, 2001

    Further the Financial Fraud (Investigation, Prosecution, Recovery and Restoration of property) Bill, 2001 was introduced in Parliament to curb the menace of Bank Fraud. The Act was to prohibit, control, investigate financial frauds; recover and restore properties subject to such fraud; prosecute for causing financial fraud and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

    Under the said act the term Financial Fraud has been defined as under:

    Section 512 – Financial Fraud

    Financial frauds means and includes any of the following acts committed by a person or with his connivance, or by his agent, in his dealings with any bank or financial institution or any other entity holding public funds;

    1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;

    2. The active concealment of a fact by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;

    3. A promise made with out any intention of performing it;

    4. Any other act fitted to deceive;

    5. Any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be fraudulent.
    Provided that whoever acquires, possesses or transfers any proceeds of financial fraud or enters into any transaction which is related to proceeds of fraud either directly or indirectly or conceals or aids in the concealment of the proceeds of financial fraud, commits financial fraud.

    513(a) – Punishment for Financial Fraud

    Whoever commits financial fraud shall be: (a) Punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term, which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

    (b)Whoever commits serious financial fraud shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years and shall also be liable for fine up to double the amount involved in such fraud.

    Provided that in both (a) and (b) all funds, bank accounts and properties acquired using such funds subjected to the financial fraud as may reasonably be attributed by the investigating agency shall be recovered and restored to the rightful owner according to the procedure established by law.

    CONCLUSION

    The Indian Banking Industry has undergone tremendous growth since nationalization of 14 banks in the year 1969. There has an almost eight times increase in the bank branches from about 8000 during 1969 to mote than 60,000 belonging to 289 commercial banks, of which 66 banks are in private sector.

    It was the result of two successive Committees on Computerization (Rangarajan Committee) that set the tone for computerization in India. While the first committee drew the blue print in 1983-84 for the mechanization and computerization in banking industry, the second committee set up in 1989 paved the way for integrated use of telecommunications and computers for applying technogical breakthroughs in banking sector.

    However, with the spread of banking and banks, frauds have been on a constant increase. It could be a natural corollary to increase in the number of customers who are using banks these days. In the year 2000 alone we have lost Rs 673 crores in as many as 3,072 number of fraud cases. These are only reported figures. Though, this is 0.075% of Rs 8,96,696 crores of total deposits and 0.15% of Rs 4,44,125 crores of loans & advances, there are any numbers of cases that are not reported. There were nearly 65,800 bank branches of a total of 295 commercial banks in India as on June 30, 2001 reporting a total of nearly 3,072 bank fraud cases. This makes nearly 10.4 frauds per bank and roughly 0.47 frauds per branch.

    An Expert Committee on Bank Frauds (Chairman: Dr.N.L.Mitra) submitted its Report to RBI in September 2001. The Committee examined and suggested both the preventive and curative aspects of bank frauds.

    The important recommendations of the Committee include:

    o A need for including financial fraud as a criminal offense;

    o Amendments to the IPC by including a new chapter on financial fraud;

    o Amendments to the Evidence Act to shift the burden of proof on the accused person;

    o Special provision in the Cr. PC for properties involved in the Financial Fraud.

    o Confiscating unlawful gains; and preventive measures including the development of Best Code Procedures by banks and financial institutions.

    Thus it can be concluded that following measures should necessarily be adopted by the Ministry of Finance in order to reduce cases of Fraud.

    o There must be a Special Court to try financial fraud cases of serious nature.

    o The law should provide separate structural and recovery procedure. Every bank must have a domestic inquiry officer to enquirer about the civil dimension of fraud.

    o A fraud involving an amount of ten crore of rupees and above may be considered serious and be tried in the Special Court.

    The Twenty-ninth Report of the Law Commission had dealt some categories of crimes one of which is “offenses calculated to prevent and obstruct the economic development of the country and endanger its economic health.” Offenses relating to Banking Fraud will fall under this category. The most important feature of such offenses is that ordinarily they do not involve an individual direct victim. They are punishable because they harm the whole society. It is clear that money involved in Bank belongs to public. They deposit there whole life’ security in Banks and in case of Dacoity or Robbery in banks the public will be al lost. Thus it is important that sufficient efforts should be taken in this regard.

    There exists a new kind of threat in cyber world. Writers are referring it as “Salami Attack” under this a special software is used for transferring the amount from the account of the individual. Hence the culprits of such crimes should be found quickly and should be given strict punishment. Moreover there is requirement of more number of IT professionals who will help in finding a solution against all these security threats.

    Fast Food Statistics – Choices Matter

    Fast food statistics let us know that fast food can be an unhealthy option. A quickie burger is a popular choice among people who don’t want to cook, or who are under time pressures and don’t have time to cook. But instead of buying takeout why not make your own fast meals at home?

    What’s in a Fast Meal?

    Here is a quick statistic on a fast food meal. A cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake have around 1,000 calories. About 17% percent of those calories are from protein, which is not too bad. But around 39% of those calories are from saturated fat and that’s not good. And around 44% are from refined carbohydrates, which is constipating and fattening.

    Too much saturated fat in the diet causes high levels of cholesterol in the blood and risk of heart disease. Children may quickly burn up calories from fat in a typical fast food meal, but for most adults those calories quickly turn to body fat and cellulite.

    Nutrition of Fast Food

    A regular portion of fries has about 210 calories and 10 grams of fat. A 4-ounce hamburger, without the cheese has around 420 calories and 20 grams of fat, plus a whopping 690 grams of sodium! Yikes that is a lot of sodium for a small hamburger. A medium soft drink boasts about 210 calories and 50 of those calories are from sugar.

    Eating fast food is a convenient way to grab a bite, but fast food in undeniably unhealthy in many ways. Fast food does not have any fiber whatsoever, which leads to constipation that can later develop into colon cancer. The saturated fat content of fast food is not healthy for the heart. It’s never a good idea to eat fast food more than a couple of times a month, and for some people, never.

    Making Your Own Fast Meal

    If you enjoy eating hamburgers once in awhile, the alternative is to make your own. Mix ½ pound ground meat with ½ pound ground turkey. Add seasonings of your choice. Form into patties and broil in the oven. Take two whole potatoes and wash and scrub thoroughly. Cut potatoes into French fry wedges. Toss some olive oil, sea salt and paprika on the potatoes and bake for 45 minutes at 400-degrees.

    Time Saving Tips

    The rush, rush mentality of society has made many people flock to the nearest fast food joint for meals. But there are healthy eating alternatives. Here are a few tips:

    If you live close to your work, simply go home for lunch. If you don’t have the luxury of working close to home, bring lunch to work with you.

    If you have to eat out, choose a salad bar, soup, or light sandwich. Bring your own salad dressing with you instead of using those fattening creamy dressings.

    Have a well-stocked pantry at home full of healthful foods such as beans, brown rice, pasta and other whole grains. When you cook, make more than you will need and freeze the rest in individual servings for work or when you don’t feel like cooking.

    Be prepared. Make lists of what you are going to eat throughout the week. On the night before going to work do most of the prep work, so when you come home from work all you have to do is cook the food.

    Cook in your crock-pot. The crock-pot does the cooking for you.

    What to Pack for Travelling

    This is what I consider to be essential items for any traveler/backpacker. These are items which I have used in my past travels, and have served me well.

    Backpack

    The first most obvious thing for any traveler to decide on is whether to use a backpack or a suitcase. During my first solo travel experience to Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan, I traveled with a backpack. For under 50 I bought a Eurohike 55 litre backpack with a rain cover, which came in handy during the monsoon season! The pack was top-opening, and didn’t really offer much by way of security. I therefore bought a special backpack transit case which I put my backpack into and made it secure from theft, but also made it secure from airport conveyor belts. I had heard that the conveyors in airports sometimes broke clips from backpacks if they were not properly secured, and that some airlines didn’t even want to have backpacks on their airplanes because they were a safety threat. I actually lost the backpack case during the course of my travels, and had to resort to wrapping my backpack in black bin bags and tape in order to prevent the clips from catching airport conveyors. The backpack was comfortable, with some very nice cushioned padding. However, I realized as my trip went on that the pack was a little too large. I had read on many different websites that the smaller and lighter your pack, the more comfortable your trip will be. This is so true. It is not just about how light the pack is for you to carry, but also practical reasons like traveling on packed trains and subways with a giant wardrobe on your back. The backpack was incredibly annoying whilst traveling on busy subways, as I didn’t know if, and how badly, I was bumping into people – but I am sure that I definitely was! However, it was great to have my hands free when I needed to pay for tickets and also carry bags and water bottles.

    Suitcase

    On my second trip to Japan, I decided to ditch the backpack and travel with a medium sized suitcase. I was traveling for 3 weeks, and had planned to move around the country quite a bit. I was worried about the condition of the suitcase’s wheels by the end of the trip, but altogether I preferred the comfort of a nice suitcase. The suitcase takes up the use of your arms, but it does relieve your back. I found time and again that my backpack was becoming too heavy and cumbersome for longer walks; a suitcase, meanwhile, makes walking a pleasure. Trying to find your hotel in the humid and busy conditions of Bangkok with your gigantic backpack is not a pleasant experience. Though, going up stairs is a pain with a suitcase, but with a backpack it is a breeze. This may be important to you as it is best to travel around a Japanese city (and many other Asian cities) via the subway system, and sometimes they have enormous staircases leading to the platforms. The final clincher is that a suitcase makes you look more businesslike and professional; a backpack makes you easily identifiable as a traveler or tourist, and makes you stand out far more. If I entered a nice hotel with my backpack, I wouldn’t be given the same service as if I travelled with a suitcase. I believe that backpackers have a bit of a bad name in some countries, as backpackers tend to be younger people who are more prone to loutish behavior due to letting of some steam after finishing university.

    Daypack

    You don’t want to take your suitcase or backpack with you on your daily walks or excursions, so you need a nice convenient daypack. I actually took a shoulder bag, as it looked more stylish than a small backpack. But be warned, a shoulder bag can give you some irritating neck and shoulder pains if you over pack it with large water bottles or souvenirs. In this instance, a nice mini backpack is better as it transfers the weight evenly on your back and shoulders.

    Travel Insurance

    I always take out travel insurance as you never know what could happen during your trip. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Medical help abroad could cost you thousands if you do not have the correct insurance, so always read the insurance policy properly. When I search for insurance I always turn to comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket. This way you can compare all the different companies offering insurance and their relative policies.

    Skype

    Skype is a free service which allows you to call anyone in the world (who also has a Skype account) for free. The service is completely free when using the Skype-to-Skype service, and the prices are competitive if you want to call mobile phones or landlines. You can use Skype on your iPod Touch, an actual Skype phone or on your laptop. If you are taking a laptop abroad, you can even use your webcam to make video calls, but if you are not taking a laptop, I found that many internet cafes in Asia had Skype already installed on their computers. Skype also allows you to send instant messages, play games and even transfer files. All in all, Skype is a great device which you should be make use of whilst traveling.

    First Aid Box

    I like to take a mini first aid box when I travel. The boxes come in some very nice convenient sizes with everything you could need for your trip. Items can include: plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, and various tablets for common travel sicknesses.

    Clothing

    I will not speak at great lengths on clothing, as I believe this is a personal choice and dependent on different people’s needs. However, I will say that you should always pack light, and think about whether you will ACTUALLY need an item of clothing. Sometimes, I have fallen into the trap of packing far too much clothing ‘just in case’. Whilst traveling in Asia you can always pick up cheap clothing, so there is no need to over pack. The minimum I would take for a month traveling is: 3-4 t-shirts, 2 shirts, trousers, two shorts, swimming shorts, 2 pairs of socks, trainers/sneakers (I would buy some that look formal but are as comfortable as trainers).

    Travel Washing Line

    I take a small washing line on my trips in case there is not enough places to dry my clothes. If you are packing light, you can just wash your clothes more often, and you will sometimes need a washing line for extra space.

    Travel Sink Plug

    I used this occasionally when I stayed in hostels. In some budget accommodation you will not have a sink plug, which makes shaving difficult. The travel plug is therefore recommended if you are considering staying in budget accommodation. Also, even some higher grade hotels have faulty plugs in their bathrooms, so it is generally a good item to take.

    Toiletries

    As a dandy backpacker I have a vast array of toiletries. My toiletry bag consists of: shavers, moisturizers, sun cream, nail clippers, eyebrow tweezers, aftershaves (which I tend to buy from airport duty free), lip balm, deodorant and more!

    Rain Mac

    If you are traveling anywhere that has a monsoon season then a rain mac is a great idea. Monsoon rain is awesome, and can just take you by surprise and leave you drenched. A little rain mac can be scrunched up into a very small size and can easily be carried in your daypack.

    Swiss Army Knife

    I sometimes take this on my travels as it has various useful devices: a bottle opener, scissors, toothpick, tweezers, screwdriver heads and numerous knives of varying shape and sizes.

    Travel Towels

    I recommend taking a large travel towel. These can be folded into an incredibly small size and take very little space in your luggage. They also dry quicker than ordinary towels.

    Camera

    I really don’t know much about cameras but I definitely know that you will need one on your journey. It’s a way of recording experiences that are not possible in any other way. I just bought an 8 megapixel camera in Bangkok – it has served me well.

    Batteries

    You will need these for your camera, so make sure you take enough spares from your own country, which tend to be cheaper than whilst abroad.

    Mobile Phone

    A mobile phone is now a necessary gadget in all parts of life, and is very important during your travels. It is a great device to keep in touch with other travelers, but is also a safety device if you become lost or in danger. Remember to take you charger though, or it will become useless after a few days.

    Backup Sim Card

    Just in case you lose the first Sim card you can just take another Sim, which are usually free.

    Backup Debit/Credit Card

    I would take a backup card just in case I lost my main card. If I lost my main card I could just cancel it and then transfer the money from my main account into my backup account via internet banking.

    Pens and Paper

    You will occasionally need to write things down, such as directions or contacts, and a pen and paper would be very helpful. I would always travel with a mini pen and small notepad in my daypack so that it was easy to get to. You can always use your mobile phone or iPod Touch for this as well.

    Travel Adaptors

    Travel adapters are necessary if you want to charge your iPod or mobile phone. Once you know where you are going, you can find out what converter plug you will need. It will save you having to search around in your destination country. Some plugs are all-rounders and cover everywhere.

    iPod Touch

    My iPod Touch has been irreplaceable during my travels. Not only is it great for watching movies, listening to music and playing games whilst waiting for your flight or on long train journeys, it also has practical uses. By downloading free applications via its Wi-Fi capabilities you can turn your iPod Touch into a hotel or hostel finder, a currency exchange service, a travel guide and much more. I also bought a special, and inexpensive, earphone and microphone set for my Touch, which allowed me to use Skype wherever I had free Wi-Fi. Actually you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere in Southeast Asia: McDonald’s, Starbucks, shopping malls, hotels and even airports. However, I surprisingly found that Wi-Fi access is not so easily found in Korea or Japan, and tends not to be free if it is offered.

    iPad

    I don’t actually own one of these but they just seem to be a large iPod Touch. All the convenience of the iPod Touch being a nice pocket device which is easy to take everywhere is lost on this device. But maybe I am missing something about it.

    Travel Guides

    I love to read travel guides and always take them on my trips. My favorite guides have always been DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. I regularly use DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Thailand, Japan and Rome to name a few. I found them incredibly helpful, but most importantly I loved the focus on culture and historical sites. The guides are wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate, and the pictures and captions are beautifully presented. In addition, the historical sections are informative, well illustrated and a joy to read. I would also recommend Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, which I have also used in the past.

    Money Belt

    I originally bought one in order to hide my valuables, but then just used it to hold my bus/train tickets or small change so that it was easily at hand and I didn’t have to rummage though bags or my pockets. The money belt can be used as just a regular bum bag (fanny pack if you’re American) without valuable items and just left on display rather than inside your clothing. I just used it as an extra convenient pocket.

    What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Airport Car Service Vs Transporting Yourself?

    When you need to get to or from the airport, there are a number of travel options available. Discover the benefits offered by airport car services so that you can make an informed decision about your airport transportation the next time you fly.

    Air travel can be an extremely stressful experience, especially when you consider the time and hassle it often takes to get to and from an airport on either end of a journey. Working with a private airport transportation service can help mitigate this stress so that you can get to or from your on-the-ground destination with minimal difficulty. Find out what benefits a private shuttle service to airport destinations can provide versus self-orchestrated travel, and consider if airport car services would be right for you the next time you fly.

    In terms of self-directed car travel to or from an airport, driving yourself or having someone else drop you off are the two most common scenarios. While these do offer some cost benefits and a degree of travel flexibility, they also have their shortcomings. In both of these cases, you’re creating the opportunity for a lot of travel-related stress. When you drive yourself to the airport, you’re forcing yourself to focus on driving in a high-traffic area while also trying to adhere to an extremely time-sensitive schedule. That’s guaranteed to raise your blood pressure! Once you get to the airport, you’re also locking yourself into paying for parking for the whole time you’re gone. If you try to avoid the parking cost by having a friend or family member drive you, you still end up engaging someone else in the stress of traffic and the time crunch of an airport run. Many of us take these airport travel stressors as par for the course. However, they don’t have to be. There are other travel options available, such as private airport shuttle services or car services.

    Very often the word “shuttle” may conjure up images of minibuses or vans crammed full of travelers. While those types of airport shuttles do exist, they won’t necessarily reduce your stress load during your travel experience! A door-to-door airport car service, however, will. In this context, the terms “shuttle” and “car service” are used interchangeably to reference a town car or other private vehicle that will get you to or from an airport. The drivers of these cars are fully trained, licensed, and insured, and provide fast, reliable, and, above all, comfortable airport travel. When you engage this type of airport shuttle service, all you need to do is give them the details of where you are, where you need to travel, and what your time frame is. The company will do all the rest, from calculating departure or arrival times to loading and unloading your bags for you. This type of assistance can be especially helpful if you’re in an unfamiliar area, or if you just have a lot on your plate and need to have one less detail to think about.

    Fashion Stylist

    Do you have a flair for style? Then think Fashion Styling. Styling is all about making people feel and look good, both inside and out. It is an art to combine things together to form a beautiful piece. People love you because you make them feel wonderful.

    Stylist are generally of three categories – celebrity stylists, image stylists and image consultants. A fashion stylist’s career provides thrilling opportunities. Fashion shoots, fashion shows, music videos, movies, advertisements and TV shows are few areas where a stylist can work.

    Fashion stylists require more than a good taste. He/she must also have an understanding of the different body types and create looks that brings out the best in them. The ability to combine usual pieces and use them in unusual ways is a must. It’s not it, a stylist must have the ability to work within the client’s budget, and yet bring out the best in him/her. In addition, he/she must be able to influence a client without overriding them.

    Having a formal education in fashion and styling is an added advantage. To start with, you can even experiment with your family and friends to put your creative skills to practice. As a stylist, you need to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and the happenings in the world of fashion. Browse through the fashion magazines and watch fashion related programs regularly. Have a portfolio of your work . To make it more effective, make a column that indicates ‘before makeover’ and ‘after makeover,’ as this gives the client an idea of your style of creation. In addition, create a website that indicates your nature of work, the offers you provide, and include in as many as quality information possible.

    The best part of the job is that you don’t need big investments. You can practice on your own and slowly build a full -fledged career. You get to be in touch with the world’s most stylish people. From working with celebrities, to styling a house wife, there are numerous areas in which fashion stylists can use their talent. The future is just bright !

    You Have Been Declined for Health Insurance in California, Now What?

    If you are reading this then you probably have been declined for health insurance in the recent past. When you get declined for health insurance it probably has something to do with your medical history. Since California is one of the underwritten states health care companies have the right to declined people for health insurance. Who health insurance company might decline and who it might not all depends on risk assessment using actuarial tables. Anytime when you fill out individual application for health coverage and answer yes on one of the medical questions your application might be manually reviews by one of the underwriters. It is a person who is responsible to reviewing application using actuarial tables. Actuarial tables are statistics done by the insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, researchers that predict the cost of insuring some one with a specific medical history.

    Some states like New York, New Jersey and Washington require insurance companies to insure everyone. Those three states do not have medical underwriting and everyone is automatically approved for health coverage. In order to insure everyone with medical history insurance companies increase rates to the point where it becomes not affordable to most people. What keeps the average monthly premiums low is low utilization of health care. If there are more people with high medical insurance utilization with a specific health insurance company they have to raise the rates for everyone in order to keep up with paying medical claims. That also drives people who do not use health insurance that often to drop health insurance all together and yet driving rates even higher. This leaves no choice for insurance carriers but to drive rates even higher. New York, New Jersey and Washington have highest premiums for medical coverage and a lot of families find health care out of reach.

    In California if you have been declined for health coverage you have options. If you out of job or currently on low income you can qualify for Medical and if you have kids they can qualify for a program called Healthy Families. Most states including California have high risk pools that are designed for people who have been declined for individual health insurance. In California this program is called MRMIP. Just the quick search on the Internet will guide to a government website. MRMIP is a program that is managed by the state and your big name medical insurance providers participate in it. Chances are you will be able to keep the same health insurance company if you are already use to them. MRMIP program has limits and it might have a waiting period.

    One of the best options might be when it comes to getting the most coverage for your money is through a group plan. In the state of California all group plans by law are required to be a guaranteed issue. That means that there is no medical underwriting. This options requires more work from you. Insurance companies are not just going to let you set up a group plan if you have been declined for individual health insurance. Since insurance companies are required to insurance everyone who is part of the group state requires insurance companies to have rules when it comes to setting up a group plan. Some of the basic requirements change from the insurance company to the insurance company.

    The best way to find out is talk to insurance broker. The basics that insurance companies are going to be looking for are that you have to have a reason for starting a group plan other then getting medical insurance. It is illegal to start a group plan just to get health insurance. That means that you have to have a business and that could be anything. To have a group plan you obviously have to have more then just yourself It takes at least two people to start a group plan. All the people that are going to be on the group plan are either have to be the owners of the business or have to be on the payroll. Some insurance companies require either a DE-6 form or six weeks of payroll records. If every one if the owner then you will be required to provide proof of the ownership listing everyone that is going to be on a group plan as the owner. This might not be simple but is is certainly doable and it is definitely worth it if you do not have any coverage and cannot get it on your own.

    It is always easier to just blame the insurance company that they have declined you for health coverage. If you have been declined and are looking for health insurance you just have to be more proactive in getting your coverage. Once you work with a broker on getting on the requirements on setting up a group plan then it is forever yours and no one can take that coverage away from you unless you stop paying for it.

    Developing Your Own Fashion Style

    Your style is important. Ask yourself every time you buy anything, every time you make anything, or have anything made: Is it in accord with my style? Does it meet the requirements of correct dress for me?

    If you live in a little city or a village and suddenly found yourself on Fifth Avenue in New York City, would you feel conspicuous in your clothes? If friends from the fashion centers of America were coming to visit you, would you feel out of place in your costume? You should not. You have the same opportunity to be correctly dressed as any other woman if you will study and persevere toward perfection in dress.

    We must realize that we have a style of our own and that we are of a particular type. This is recognized by every fashion authority in the country, and by every fashion publication, for if all women were to adhere to one fashion, one fashion only would be shown in the fashion books instead of twenty, thirty, or fifty different designs.

    Look through any fashion book today and you will find round-and-round and up-and-down lines in the same issue–all with the idea of helping women to clothe themselves correctly and of giving suggestions that will help them individually to find appropriate styles.

    Establishing a style for yourself and then perfecting it–be it in hats, gloves, shoes, dresses, or suits–will prove economical, and it will not be long before a degree of perfection will be acquired.

    A prominent New York business woman, who is one of the most distinctively dressed women that I know, wears the smartest suits and hats and always severely tailor-made gowns. And her neckwear, usually a jabot or a stock, is so smart that you would never for a minute question whether it is authoritatively fashionable. She always wears high shoes on the street, and usually they have light-colored tops, because she is tall and the light tops of the shoes help to break the appearance of height.

    One day, this young woman came to visit me. I could not refrain from remarking about the completeness of her costume. I said, “If I saw your shadow, I should know that it was you by the harmony that your silhouette expresses and the very way you carry yourself.”

    She said, “Do you know that remarks like yours are what caused me to persevere in acquiring my style of dressing? I used to think I wanted loose, floppy clothes in which I could relax and be just as free and comfortable as if I were in negligee. Once, when in a ferry boat crossing New York harbor, I saw sitting opposite me a line of crumpled-up women apparently enjoying their slovenly posture. Not one of them expressed dignity or pride in her personal appearance. Not one of the women on that boat, I thought, was unusual or had any desire to know better. I then took a little self-inventory. I was ashamed of myself, because I realized I was not very much better dressed than the other women on the boat. I sat up straight and determined right then and there that I would acquire a style becoming and practical for me and would express that style in the most attractive and agreeable way that I could. And that resolution has helped me more than I can say.”

    She was frank enough to tell me that she attributed a great part of her success to having wakened up, to having made herself trim and having kept herself so. She always plans to have one good suit or one good dress–just as good as she possibly can afford; she procures a garment that she has to respect, and that will make her “dress up to fit.”

    She said, “If I put on a shabby dress, I will allow my shoes to be shabby and will be careless about my personal grooming; but when I have a dress that I have to be particular about, I always have my hair, my shoes, my gloves, my corset–everything–Just right for it, and I always look very much better.”

    Living up to your clothes, creating a style, and being equal to an intelligent expression of it are worth many dollars to a woman who wants to be a success in business, in the home, or in social life.

    Drug Abuse and Addition

    The world today has become surrounded by drug abuse as well as drug addiction. This escalating disorder has become so common, that its truth is based on misconceptions that people have concerning drug abuse as well as addiction. This paper briefly provides an overview of drug abuse as well as addiction, and at the same time looks at the aspects of epidemiology, social problems, pathophysiology, as well as ethical issues that might arise with medical emergency respondents.

    Drug abuse and drug addiction; exactly what does that mean and who is affected by it? There is a confusion between drug addiction and abuse. Drug abuse happens when there is usage of a substance, generally illicit drugs or alcohol, while drug addiction takes place in a broad variety of substances and activities. Addiction can be termed as the compulsive need for usage of substance forming habits, such as alcohol, nicotine and heroin, of which is eventually characterized by obviously physiological signs upon withdrawal as well as tolerance; widely: insistent compulsive use of known substances that are harmful to the user. Drug addiction is usually not a substance forming habit, it also includes things such as gambling, sex, video gaming, and even internet. All the same, the primary focus of society is still to do with drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Several characteristics of pathophysiology and epidemiology will be discussed together with the social implications that addiction causes as well as any ethical problems that lie with addiction and medical emergency service providers.

    The addictive behavioral study is relatively new. Science just started to study behavioral addictive in the 1930. Prior to this, studies were being carried out by scientist on drug abuse that were plagued by misconception shadows as well as nature addiction. But with present day discoveries as well as information on how brain chemicals work and the methods of alteration, there is now a deeper understanding of alcohol and drug addiction. Drug addiction, according to Dr. Dryden-Edwards also referred to as chemical dependency or substance dependence, is an illness that is described by a destructive drug abuse pattern that leads to major problems which involve tolerance towards or substance withdrawal and other problems arising from substance use that could have implications to the sufferer, either by school performance, socially or in terms of work. More than 2.5% of humanity suffer from drug addiction at some point in their lives. Some of the commonly abused addictive substances are alcohol, anabolic steroids, amphetamines, cannabis, caffeine, ecstasy, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, nicotine, phencyclidine, opiates, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, and or hypnotic. Despite the fact that alcohol and drug addiction is viewed as a mental health issue, there is no one particular determinant cause. However, several people believe that drug addiction and abuse is a genetic disease of which is a false fact. A person’s environment is cause for the development of a predisposition dependency drug.

    Epidemiology

    The socially associated risk factors of drug addiction and drug abuse encompass the male gender, between the age ranges of 18 and 44 years, heritage of Native American persons, low socioeconomic status as well as the marital status of the unmarried. State statistics reveal that residents from the western U.S are more at risk to substance dependency as well as abuse. While males are very prone to alcoholism development, females seem more vulnerable to alcoholism at fairly lower amounts of alcohol consumption, this is because females have a much lower body mass as compared to males. The combined medical, criminal, economical, as well as the social implications costs American taxpayer more than half a trillion dollars annually. Each year drug and alcohol abuses contributes to 100,000 American deaths, with tobacco contributes approximately 440,000 deaths annually. Individuals of all ages suffer the damaging consequences of drug as well as alcohol addiction and abuse. Babies can get affected while within the mother’s womb if the mother is to engage in drug or alcohol use, which as a result causes defects in birth as well as slows down the intellectual development in the later years of the child. As for Adolescents, they usually perform poorly in school and usually drop out while they are abusing drugs. Adolescent girls stand the risk of having unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and violence. In addition, parents and adults are also affected, usually by having their cognitive abilities clouded. With all the vast exposure, the stage has easily been set for the next generation to simply step into the addictive lifestyle.

    Pathophysiology

    Drug addiction primarily affects the brain, but also affects the flow of a person’s organ systems. Drugs as well as mind changing substances which can be abused usually target the body’s natural system of reward either willingly or unwillingly causing entire euphoric effects for the drug user. These effects arise from the dopamine, which is a regulated neurotransmitter movement, emotion, cognition, motivation and pleasure feelings. The release of Dopamine is naturally rewarded to the body for natural behaviors as well as initiations for the cycle to repeat the behavior all over. The dopamine neurotransmitter fills the reward system that is often concealed in restricted amounts from routine activities such as sex or eating. The brain perceives this as a life-sustaining action as a result of the activated reward system. On introducing the chemical substance within a person’s system and the euphoric effects are realized, a person’s brain takes note of several significant happening events and teaches itself to do this action repeatedly until it is a habit. The consumption of illicit drugs can cause an individual to impulsively act when the brain’s reasoning system would normally delay or prevent a form of given action.

    This reasoning system is circumvented, hence leading to the undesired action that can possibly have negative consequences on the drug user’s life. However, several drug effects as well as chemical substances are at times euphoric, and other times the substance causes depression, suicidal thoughts, and paranoia. Continuation of the drug causes the brain to become acclimatized to the surplus of dopamine within the reward system. This then leads to the decrease of dopamine release as well as the dopamine receptors numbers within the system itself. In turn, this affects the user’s ability to attain the desired effects of the drug usage. This response from the person’s brain causes the person to try and reactivate the receptors by adding the dosage or amount of the drug in order to attain the same dopamine high. This effect process is referred to as a tolerance. Long term drug abuse causes changes to occur to other systems parts within the brain. The neurotransmitter glutamate of which is a part of the reward systems can be changed and hence cause learning inability. When the brain reaches the maximum level of glutamate, it causes an off balance and the brain tries to compensate, of which as a result affects the drug user’s cognitive ability. Once the brain accustoms to the drug effects, dependence is made and drug abuse cessation causes a result known as withdrawal. While most withdrawal signs are very uncomfortable for the drug addict, there are several serious signs such as seizures, strokes, myocardial infraction, delirium tremens, and hallucinations.

    Social, Ethical issues as well as the impact on emergency medical services (EMS)

    The consequences of drug abuse and addiction are very evident in an individual social life. The addictions destructive behavior affects every area of their personal life, right from the genesis of the drug abuse. The addictions symptoms from a physical perspective include alteration of sleeping patterns as well as eating habits, which in turn contribute to both weight gain as well as loss. Frequent drug abuse tends to lead to failure in meeting important responsibilities at work, school or even home. Other drug addiction effects include domestic violence, family disintegration, child abuse, employment loss, and failure in school. People with addiction engage in risk taking, and with alterations in the reward system within the brain, the drug users expect positive reactions prior to them taking the substance that would satisfy their needs for the risks they take. Impulse control is difficult when drug choice is available to people with addiction. As a result this fuels the addiction even more.

    The effect of the emergency medical service is immense. The calls from addiction range from medical overdosage to trauma. The emergency medical provider’s obligation in response to overdosed patients requires paramedics to find out how much as well as what the patients took, and what is the correct medication to give in order to reverse the condition that is being experienced by the patient or drug user. With the various emergency responses comes danger, with the possibility of violent outbreaks by the addicts or users. Therefore, paramedics must be aware of their surroundings while handling the patients. In addition, patients who experience withdrawals tend to hallucinate a complete event as well as incorporate the paramedics, thus causing the patient to react violently towards the care provider. Drug addiction is a very serious condition that can be considered as a psychiatric problem, of which needs to be treated with a sure diligence as well as suspicion.

    Within the realm of the emergency medical service, the response rate of addiction is not considered an emergency condition. The incident will arise if an addict is experiencing withdrawal violent signs or has substance overdose, and the patient would appear in a state of agitation or even unconsciousness. There is no prearranged method in handling a patient that is experiencing problems related to addiction. The key element is in treating the symptoms of the patient. All patients require supplementary oxygen through non rebreathe if tolerance is acceptable. To assist in flushing out a normal saline of infusion, obtaining of intravenous access is a must. Should a patient or addict be in a state of agitation or seizure, administration of a sedative is required, such as versed or valium. Caution must be taken when administrating benzodiazepines because of the risks regarding failure or respiratory depression is present. Should a patient experiencing an opiate overdose as well as low breathing, Narcan 0.4 – 2 milligrams must be administered, but caution must be observed when administering the drug of which is done slowly in order for the patient to breathe sufficiently so as to sustain life. Should breathing and airway problems continue then intubation must be considered in order to secure the airway of the patient. Quick transport with due concern is suggested in order for the patient to be evaluated so as to have the hospital staff commence detoxification.

    Conclusion

    The drug abuse and addiction world is unforgiving and harsh, especially if an addict or user is unwilling to leave it behind. A number of people claim that the addiction is all within the head, and research has verified this notion. The brain effects from a formed learned pattern is similarly rewarded to such activities like drinking or eating.

    A lot of people do not comprehend as to how and why other people become drug addicts. It is wrongfully presumed that drug users have no willpower or moral principles and cannot stop using drugs simply by choosing to alter their behavior. The reality is, drug addiction and abuse is a complex illness, and quitting it requires lots of good intentions. In actual fact, because drugs alter the brain in ways that raise drug abuse compulsiveness, quitting becomes hard, even for the willing addicts.

    A lot of drug users also believe that they can control their drug abuse and addiction. Having a drug habit is a costly affair that leads to loss of belongings, money and even self-esteem. Curiosity is what drives some people abuse drugs, while others it is peer pressure, and another group of people become addicts of prescription drugs. While drug abuse normally leads to drug addiction, overcoming drug addiction is no easy task. So the question begs, is this drug abuse or is this drug addiction? These are two completely separate paths that lead to the same depressing outcome. In addition, the consequences of drug abuse as well as drug addiction become noticeable after a given period of time whereby compulsiveness and violence take over, furthermore, the physical toll which includes illness and depression at times could be debilitating. Therefore, the only method to reducing drug abuse as well as addiction is through educating or sensitizing the public. Avoidance is viewed as the best prevention.

    Why 14K Gold Rings Are Always a Good Choice

    A 14K gold ring is a classic piece of jewelry which has portrayed a sense of elegance for many centuries and continues to do so today. Many couples are now considering wedding rings made of white gold rather than the more traditional 14K yellow gold sets, in order to obtain the same level of quality found in yellow gold, but choosing the bright, clean luster that the white gold rings can offer. A 14K gold ring of high quality will keep its luster and will never discolor or rust and it will only need some routine cleaning.

    The K referred to in 14K stands for carat, which is how the purity in gold is measured, with 24K representing the purest form used in jewelry. Pure gold is extremely soft and malleable; the higher the carat counts the softer the gold and the easier it will be damaged with daily wear. Lower carat counts are more durable, but they have a tendency to fade with time. In order to produce stronger metals, other minerals will be added which is what is indicated by the carats value; the higher the level of additional minerals, the lower the resulting carat will be. Yellow gold is typically mixed with palladium, silver or copper and it is the copper which adds the beautiful dark yellow luster that many people desire. The white gold is not actually white colored gold, but a mixture of gold with zinc or nickel to add extra strength as well as its bright luster. The 14K gold is stronger than gold that is pure, yet it retains enough malleability to allow beautiful designs to be created.

    A very nice custom with many couples is to choose engagement rings made of white gold which match in order to signify their commitment to each other. There are many beautiful engagement rings that are widely available in various masculine styles which are ideal for this purpose. It is important to not overlook all the beautiful gemstones available for use as an anniversary ring, such as the gemstone Tourmaline which is very popular to mark a couples 8th wedding, a gorgeous opal is always a much appreciated gemstone to use on the 14th anniversary and the rare gemstone Tanzanite is appropriate for a 24th wedding anniversary. However, 14K rings made of white gold are not just for weddings, they are available for numerous purposes and occasions. Almost any type of gemstone, including the cubic zirconia, which is a simulated stone, as well as moissanite, onyx and jade, all will be exquisitely presented when set in 14K gold. Any mother will certainly cherish a beautiful Mother’s Ring that includes the appropriate gemstones representing the birth months for each of her children and these rings are available in a multitude of different designs and styles which she can wear for a lifetime.

    A 14K gold ring can easily be adapted to a specialty design which will hold a special significance in the heart of the wearer. There is even a beautiful Claddagh ring that indicates love and devotion. There are numerous possibilities for finding a ring that is perfect for any occasion and the choices are unlimited for quality 14K rings.

    Travel Insurance Options for Traveling Abroad

    Travel insurance is just one of things that are necessary when traveling abroad. Travel insurance can be a very practical solution to providing protection for unexpected emergencies while traveling. This type of insurance protects your investment and allows individuals to travel with peace of mind. There are several options available for going abroad depending on the length and type of trip. Travelers can easily compare plans from leading providers, receive quotes and purchase a plan instantly. Travel insurance can insure against unexpected illness, injury, employment loss, luggage loss and more.

    It can provide coverage for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. This insurance provides coverage due to unforeseen illnesses or death. Pre-departure trip cancellation insurance provides protection in the event of the traveler having to cancel flight or hotel reservations due to an immediate member of the family’s death or illness or other covered events. Trip interruption insurance provides benefits if the traveler is unable to continue the covered trip after departure due to covered events. As an option, there are companies that also provide policies that cover cancellation for any reason.

    Another option available for travelers insurance is for medical emergencies. This type is beneficial particularly when visiting abroad. Insurance for medical emergencies will provide coverage for doctor visits, medication and even evacuation for medical emergencies. This is particularly important for individuals with chronic conditions or those traveling to underdeveloped countries. Travelers may also have the option of insurance that will provide coverage for tickets that are not refundable and the trip has to be cancelled. Some insurance will even cover missed flights, which can be, a life saver due to delays and overcrowding.

    Baggage protection is another type of insurance available. This type of insurance covers direct loss, theft, and damage of your luggage during the covered trip. Travel Accident Protection is another insurance choice that is available. This type of insurance provides coverage for accidental death and dismemberment. This type of insurance provides protection if the traveler is injured in an accident and suffer a loss while covered under this type of plan. A comprehensive travel insurance plan is a great option and a very popular choice for vacationing abroad. This option can provide a wide range of insurance coverage and may even allow travelers to choose what options to incorporate which is why it such a popular choice.

    There are several types of companies that offer insurance for travelers. Most travelers prefer to purchase this insurance directly from travel insurance agencies or companies. It is also offered by most companies that offer tours as they generally offer insurance to their clients. Major cruise lines as well offer the option to purchase travel insurance. Cruise line operators usually offer a host of plans to travelers when they schedule a cruise. Travelers can purchase insurance from a travel agent which is very convenient to purchase travel and insurance in one place.

    Once you think about the high price of travel and the low price of insurance, this type of insurance is a very reasonable investment. There are plenty of things to worry about when traveling but by protecting your vacation plans with affordable traveling insurance, unforeseen events do not have to be one of them. Since it is not possible to foresee what may happen during travel, a insurance plan is a great value. Travel insurance can slash your losses in numerous situations.

    The Secret to Getting Your Aging Parents to Accept Eldercare Services – Start With Their Pets

    Your parents need more help than they’re willing to admit. They bristle at the thought of elder care services and independent living programs, and they have fired all the in-home helpers and housekeepers you’ve hired for them. How might you prevail upon them to accept some assistance? Ask them about their pets.

    They surely want the best for their animals and might be willing to let somebody take their dog for an occasional romp or change the litter box a couple of times a week.

    Pet owners often make decisions about their own health and circumstances based on the impact the decisions would have on their pets. “I can’t go into the hospital over night for the test the doctor ordered-who would feed and walk Fluffy?” Your parents might welcome assistance that would make it easier to keep the animal at home and in good health and spirits. And, accepting help for the pet is easier than admitting you need help yourself. Still, help is help, and accepting help for the pet is a face-saving way to ease in to help for oneself.

    There are various dog walking and pet sitting services, and some are fully bonded and insured. Local animal shelters and veterinary practices have referral lists. Neighbors with pets probably have recommendations too. A responsible teenage neighbor looking for pocket money might also be a good resource.

    When was the last time your parents’ pet went to the vet for an exam and shots? Getting an animal into a carrier is hard enough for many pet owners in the prime of their-and their pet’s-life. It may well be impossible for your parents to catch the cat, put it in the carrier and carry the carrier to the car they shouldn’t be driving anyway.

    The way to make assistance tolerable is to get clear and detailed information about what your parents want help with and how they want to be helped. Starting with a topic they’re willing to consider, help with a trip to the vet, you can follow this good experience with others like help with shopping and eventually with in-home help.

    Do your parents want help with:

    • Walking the pet
    • Feeding and watering the pet
    • Cleaning up after the pet, inside or out
    • Getting the pet ready to go to the vet
    • Taking the pet to the vet
    • Staying with the pet if your parent is out of town or in the hospital?

    No matter how experienced the provider of eldercare services is, he/she cannot anticipate each client’s preferences and may not ask in sufficient detail to get adequate information. Use these questions to help your parents get clear on exactly what they want help with and how they want to be helped, and to train the helper so he/she can provide elder care services they will accept.