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What is the Difference Between a Credit Union and a Bank

Banks and credit unions seem very similar to most people. They both offer deposit accounts and various types of credit. They have many of the same services, telephone banking, online banking and ATMs; but there are some major differences between the two. If youre wondering where to turn for your next personal loan or arent sure where to open a savings account consider the following differences between a credit union and a bank.

Credit Unions

A Credit Union is a member-owned not-for-profit financial cooperative governed by a Board of Directors elected by the credit unions members. The members of a credit union usually have something in common, such as living in the same geographical region or belonging to the same organization.

Credit Unions offer everything from checking and savings accounts to small business loans, car loans, mortgages, personal loans, and more. A credit unions main focus, however, is on savings and it will usually offer higher interest on savings products than a bank. A credit unions not-for-profit status means that any income it earns is given back to its members, usually via lower interest rates and fees.

Banks

A bank is a stockholder-owned financial institution. Its main goal is to make its investors money and it does so by investing its customers money or lending it to other customers. When you make a deposit at the bank you are essentially loaning money to it. The bank pays you back in interest for that loan but the rates vary depending on the bank (consider that 0.05% youre now making on a savings account you opened several years ago when interest rates were much higher).

Banks also make their money in fees (ATM fees, overdraft fees, late payment fees, etc.). Banks carry the same products as credit unions, deposit accounts, IRAs, credit cards, and so on, but unlike a credit union, a banks products are FDIC insured. (Credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) so funds are still guaranteed should the credit union fail).

While it may seem that banks and credit unions both offer the same products and the only difference is in who owns them, credit unions lead the way when it comes to service. Surveys of bank customers and credit union members consistently show a higher rate of satisfaction among credit union members. And while banks are often able to provide more convenience, in that they typically offer more branch locations, customer satisfaction is not as high.

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Top 7 Small Business Tax Tips

Here are seven ways for owners of small businesses to save money on their taxes.

1. Incorporate Yourself: If you`re still a proprietor or partner of a business, it`s time to incorporate yourself. Not only will you limit your liability, but you may enjoy lower tax rates on small business income and other tax advantages as well.

2. Be Home Based: If possible, continue (or switch to) being a home based business. Not only will you keep your overhead down, but you will be able to write-off (or deduct) the business use of your home.

3. Income Split: Pay reasonable wages to your spouse and children. In this way, you can legally divert income taxed at your higher rate to your family members that are in a lower tax bracket.

4. Rearrange Your Affairs For Maximum Tax Savings: Can you make some changes to turn your hobby into a moneymaking business? Can you use that extra room in your house as a home office for your business? Can you arrange to use your car more for business purposes? Can you arrange for more of your entertainment expenses to be business related?

5. Document Your Expenses Well: Do you document your expenses well so that they would survive a tax audit? Have you kept a mileage log so that you can prove the percentage business use you claim for your vehicle? Have you kept receipts for all your entertainment expenses and listed the business purpose on the back of each receipt?

6. Be Punctual: File all returns and pay all taxes due (income, payroll, sales, et cetera) on time. This way, you avoid expensive late filing (and payment) penalties and interest.

7. Develop a Tax Planning Mindset: Some people only worry about their taxes during tax season. However, you will save a fortune in taxes, legally, if you make tax planning your year-round concern. Do you make business and personal purchases, investments, and other expenditures with tax savings in mind?

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VoIP 5 Tips to Improve a Small Business

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a method of electronic communication that is rapidly increasing in popularity. Used to make phone calls, VoIP technology uses a computer’s internet connection, rather than a cellular wireless or traditional wired telephone line. This technology is used not only by personal consumers, but also by businesses small and large. Here are 5 tips for using VoIP to improve a small business:

1. Use One Company for Internet and Phone – Any modern small business has a website and is likely already paying an internet service provider (ISP) for access to the internet. Rather than negotiating prices and dealing with customer service for two services, a company can save time, effort, and money by using their internet connection as their phone service provider as well.

2. Save Money on Long-Distance and International Calls – Unlike traditional telephone companies, VoIP services work regardless of the distance of the call, so pricing is not dependent on the number of local, long-distance, or international calls. This means that international calls, which can be especially expensive, can be handled without incurring additional costs. For small businesses that do business internationally or have business partners overseas, this can mean an enormous cost savings.

3. Better Voice Quality – Because of the nature of the medium and the wires that transmit the signals, VoIP services can provide cleaner, better-sounding phone calls than traditional phone companies. While it might not seem like a big change, having crisper more professional phone calls can be the edge a small business needs to win over customers or seal a big deal. Dropped calls or poor-quality calls, on the other hand, can devastate a company’s business.

4. Simplify Things for the Technical Staff – For small businesses, the internal technical staff is usually stretched thin at all times, and should be outsourced when possible. Keeping a business up and running smoothly 24/7 is no small task. Consolidating one’s internet and phone systems can provide a significant advantage, in terms of time and sheer number of technologies to monitor, to a company’s technical support and services team. For small businesses that don’t even have a dedicated technical staff, having a single number to call for technical support, rather than multiple numbers, can simplify things considerably. Prompt service and skilled technicians are key.

5. Additional Features Included At No Extra Cost – For starters, useful calling features like conference calls, call forwarding, and caller ID are all included for free. Additional features like video calls and video conferencing are also easy to add to VoIP services.

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The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a policy statement clarifying that the agency will not

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a policy statement clarifying that the agency will not take enforcement action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or the FTC Act against companies that are attempting to collect the debts of deceased consumers, if the companies communicate with someone who is authorized to pay debts from the estate of the deceased.

The policy statement also emphasizes that debt collectors may not mislead relatives to believe that they are personally liable for a deceased consumer’s debts, or use other deceptive or abusive tactics. Family members typically are not obligated to pay the debts of a deceased relative from their own assets. The FDCPA limits whom debt collectors may contact after a loved one has died to people such as the deceased person’s spouse and the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate.

Since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977, state probate laws have changed, and now, less formal procedures often govern the appointment or selection of those who are responsible for the disposition of the estate. In many instances, there may be no formal executor or administrator of an estate. In the enforcement policy statement issued today, the Commission seeks to reconcile the FDCPA’s requirements with current trends in state probate law.

In keeping with the FTC’s October 2010 proposed policy statement the final policy statement specifies that the agency will not take law enforcement action under the FDCPA if a debt collector communicates about a deceased person’s debts with that person’s spouse, the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate, or anyone else who is authorized to pay the debts from assets in the estate. The final policy statement also: Describes how debt collectors may communicate with family members and others to locate someone who is authorized to pay the deceased person’s debts from the estate, and specifies that collectors may not mislead individuals into believing that they have the authority to pay the decedent’s debts when they do not. Specifies that, in seeking to locate someone who is authorized to pay the deceased person’s debts from the estate, collectors may not reveal or refer to the debts, but may say they wish to discuss payment of the deceased person’s bills. States that in keeping with the FDCPA’s prohibition on unfair, deceptive, or abusive collection practices, debt collectors may not contact family members and others at unusual or inconvenient times or places. Emphasizes that, in communicating with someone who is authorized to pay the debts from assets of the deceased person’s estate, collectors must avoid creating the misleading impression that the individual is personally liable or could be required to pay using his or her own assets, or assets held jointly with the deceased person.

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NJ Bankruptcy Attorneys and Loan Modification Lawyers Help Those in Financial Distress

In these tough economic times, nearly anyone could fall into financial hardship. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a person’s situation, financial obligations do not let up. Very easily, a person can feel too far behind to ever catch up.

Whether medical problems, extended unemployment, or other unforeseen circumstances are the cause of financial distress, loan modification lawyers can help. Loan modification lawyers can work with creditors to renegotiate the terms of a loan.

While loan modification lawyers in NJ may work in the same practice as bankruptcy attorneys, but generally have a different emphasis. Normally, loan modification lawyers seek to prevent bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Loan modification lawyers know that creditors, especially the holder of a home mortgage, want to avoid the bankruptcy and foreclosure process. If a NJ bank has to foreclose on a property and work with bankruptcy lawyers, they will lose a lot of money.

NJ bankruptcy lawyers and NJ bankruptcy attorneys know that the foreclosure process itself is very expensive, so most banks would like to avoid it if at all possible. Loan modification lawyers help take advantage of this fact to negotiate loan conditions that allow the client to meet payments.

Loan modification lawyers can help a client ask for smaller payments spread over a longer time, or for a lower interest rate. Taking this step can keep a client and family in their home, and can be a responsible step to take at the earlier stages of financial distress.

NJ bankruptcy attorneys can help clients if loan modification offers are rejected or were not sufficient to alleviate financial distress. If a person simply cannot meet his or her financial obligations, NJ bankruptcy attorneys can serve as guides through the bankruptcy process.

Like the loan modification experts, NJ bankruptcy attorneys can work to keep families in their homes. NJ bankruptcy lawyers, however, must work within the court system to meet this goal. Once in court, a judge must approve the NJ bankruptcy lawyer’s plan to pay debtors.

NJ bankruptcy lawyers can ask for different arrangements, depending on circumstances. They can request that payments be adjusted, or that debt be absolved with the sale of the property.

Unfortunately, without NJ bankruptcy attorneys or NJ bankruptcy lawyers, the process can be very complicated. NJ bankruptcy lawyers specialize in this legal area, and can simplify and explain all options and proceedings. Clients also appreciate NJ bankruptcy attorneys’ assistance with completing and submitting paperwork.

About Us:

At the Law Offices of Kasuri & Levy, LLC, we have over 45 years of experience. Our loan modification lawyers have an outstanding reputation, and are known for handling complex matters with a comforting and personalized touch. We focus on providing quality service to each client, rather than handling client matters with quantity in mind. Learn more at www.kasuriandlevy.com.

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Are Online Quick Money Makers Possible

With such an ever-growing number of people who decide to chance their arm at an online business, it is becoming increasingly difficult to think of something new. However, there are also more and more potential customers in a world-wide market that is expanding even into places like Africa. Moreover, there are needs that people have nowadays that they didn’t have a few decades ago. Back in the time when the man of the house went to work and his wife, cooked, cleaned and took care of the kids, there wasn’t much of a market for things like, car modifying, multi-level marketing of correctable marker pens, children’s hair washing chairs and other such products and services that people are now convinced they couldn’t live without. Therefore, new ideas of what may appear crazy and unmarketable products or services might just make a millionaire out of someone. And, who wants to wait for years to become rich?

Quick money makers are possible in an infinite number of ways, so long as the person or people keep an open mind and are prepared to work hard on promoting and continually searching for customers for what they want to sell. It probably goes without saying that the most popular way nowadays and the most successful is to get the product or service online, in order to have maybe more than one billion prospective customers. However, it is also worth bearing in mind that what is good can also be bad. Consider this; once your new and great idea is out there, it is available not only for customers to see, but also others, who may want to steal it. So, if you have a new idea to earn money quickly, and not on a huge scale, there is a certain amount of sense in keeping it as far away from the good-old World Wide Web as possible. But limiting your chances of becoming a victim of your own success is definitely going to reduce the potential money earned.

The decision needs to be made right at the beginning of a new business venture on whether or not to ‘go online.’ It goes without saying that deciding afterwards that one should not have marketed your quick money maker on the web is a mistake. However, changing one’s mind in the other direction is far less damaging. The moral of the story is, ‘think big and you may win or lose big, but thinking small may be safe but hardly very profitable.’ There are people out there who, in a year or less from now, could be depending on your creation, invention or new product or service.

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What are the Benefits of the Caribbean Travel Insurance

Are you fond of spending holidays at various places? Different people have different choices. One of the places which everybody would like to visit is the Caribbean islands. You can enjoy you vacation to the fullest extent in the wonderful islands and the beautiful water.

But have you ever thought about taking insurance before you start off for a vacation? There are various benefits of getting travel insurance. If you learn about the benefits then you will surely want to get the Caribbean travel insurance before you start off for the Caribbean.

There are lots of people who plan for the international vacation but they do not pay much heed to the travel insurance. If you are one of them then you are making a big mistake.

The travel insurance provides you with proper protections and safety so that you can enjoy your vacation without any problem. There are chances of accidents as well as different kinds of mishaps during the vacation. At this point of time the insurance for vacation will be of great help.

You must always remember that when you are going for an international tour like the Caribbean trip you are new to the place and you do not know almost anything about the place. During the emergencies the international trip insurance will help you get out of the trouble.

One of the most important insurance that you must choose is the medical insurance. If you do not have insurance abroad then you might have to spend lots of dollars if you suffer from illness or an accident.

There are high chances of getting sick in a foreign land because everything is new to you. The food is also unknown and this is the reason why the vacation trip insurance must be taken. The same thing is with the Caribbean.
The food might not suit you and you might get ill. Caribbean travel insurance also has other facilities as well. This policy also covers the trip cancellations. If due to some reason you are unable to take the trip you will have to lose a lot of money.

But if you have the insurance you can avoid this easily. The Caribbean travel insurance also covers up for the delays which occur due to certain reasons. Other than this, there are some more benefits of the international trip insurance. You also get facilities if your baggage gets lost in the foreign land.

If you somehow get involved in some legal cases in the Caribbean islands the insurance for vacation will also cover this. It is always better to opt for insurance if you are taking your family out for the vacation. Always choose your insurance very well.

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Benefits Of Jewellery Insurance

Every household family in India carries gold and diamonds in form of jewellery or as a solid brick to make an investment. Probably apart from house, this is the second most precious thing in a family. Hence, to safeguard requires is Jewellery Insurance. Many people may take it as vague idea, but yes it not only gives safety but also helps in covering loss in event of any unfortunate circumstance. Jewellery insurance is not been covered by all insurance companies but a select few with the fine terms which needs to be read before declaring value and making jewellery insured.

The first and foremost benefit is of course the safety part. If a household carries jewellery worth Rs. 5 Lakh and a special occasion like marriage is due in family, its advisable to protect one from unforeseen circumstance by going in for jewellery insurance.

The process of obtaining insurance on jewellery starts with furnishing of invoice of the jewellery to the insurance company. The Insurance company then carries on valuation of jewellery by the empanelled jewellers. Once formalities done, the insurance company determine the Insured declared value. Next, comes reading and signing the declaration. Its vital to read the terms carefully as historically over 25% of the claims gets rejected in India due to faulty insurance policy or unawareness by signing on the consent form without reading the terms and conditions. It leads to not only loss in premium but also give one hassles and mental agony at the claim process. Its also advisable to take couple of snaps of the jewellery for your own record too while making them insured.

Do not follow with that insurance company which offers only the lowest premium but check the past track record in terms of claims and the service levels. Never get carried away with the low premium, there could be wide differences in the premium and claim service levels. Always, have a comparative view in respect to the multiple insurance companies and choose one which you feel is the best in service levels and claim track record.

Also, one may too get a valuation done of the jewellery through his own jeweller before going in for the insurance. As these jewellers are in this business, its best to take there advise and gives it weight for choosing insurance on the gold ornaments. Remember, insurance could act as slight expense in the beginning but it prevents one from a casualty. Take a positive side and have a peace of mind.

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Different Types Of Bank Accounts Explained

If you are looking to open a new bank account, it is a good idea to learn about the different types of bank accounts available, to ensure that you get the right account for your exact needs.

There are several types of bank accounts available, each one being tailored to slightly different requirements and also varying from bank to bank. Each type of account offers different advantages and for many it might be beneficial to hold a combination of accounts.

Basic Bank Account

This type of account usually offers the customer the facility to have regular payments paid in free of charge, and to set up direct debits or standings orders. The customers bank should issue the account holder with a card to withdraw money, which may or may not be free of charge, depending upon where the money is withdrawn.

A basic account normally lacks the facility of a chequebook and an overdraft, the benefit of the latter being that the customer need not worry about accumulating debt. On the downside, the interest rate received by the customer may be lower than that for a current account.

Current Account

Like the basic account, current accounts are tailored towards everyday use such as paying in money, withdrawing money, as well as setting up standing orders and direct debits. Customers will receive a debit card with capability such as visa or maestro, enabling the customer to withdraw money where they find the relevant sign. The debit card for this account also permits customers to make payments via the chip and pin process.

A current account will typically also return low levels of interest on the money in your account, but unlike the basic account, may provide the facility of an overdraft which needs to be arranged with your bank. Customers are also usually entitled to a chequebook as a method of payment.

Savings Account

Savings accounts will offer a higher rate of interest to the customer and therefore provide a means of saving money and to see a return in the form of interest. This often means that you cannot move your money too often. In fact, some savings accounts require that you give notice before withdrawing money. Customers should also be ware that interest gains will be taxed, and are normally deducted before being received by the account holder. Non-taxpayers in the UK can claim back the tax on the interest gained, but for UK taxpayers, an ISA may be a better option for saving money.

Student Account

The main feature of a student account is that they normally offer an overdraft facility for students. The overdraft limit will vary between banks, but will commonly be a free facility. Banks also offer different incentives for students to open an account, which may include complimentary insurance, electronic devices, railcards and more.

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Banking Dissertation Help Free Tips And Topics

Banking Dissertations are considered to be one of the most complex types of theses that students may come across. In order to trounce the complications involved in writing a bank dissertation, a scholar should have an understanding of these problems at first.

Writing a Dissertation on Banking

To start with writing your thesis on banking you have to first have a grasp on banking dissertation topics. A topic determines a direction for you to move in. The following suggestions would give you some ideas for your thesis on banking and from these you may also come up with your own dissertation topics.

? Islamic Banking in Europe

? A Dissertation on Investment Banking

? The Usefulness of Internet Banking

? Concept and Evolution of International Banking

? Understanding Banking and Finance and the Geopolitical Influences

Now suppose if you choose to write an Islamic banking dissertation. For this topic you need to understand the meaning and purpose of Islamic banking itself. Only with complete understanding and knowledge of the subject will enable you to write your term paper. You may also choose to write banking and finance dissertation with a view on its geopolitical influences.

Some Useful Tips

Apart from doing research, you could also use bank dissertation help from experts in the field. However, if you choose an easier option, here are some tips that would certainly help you write a good thesis.

Discuss existing banking practices in detail and provide examples based on your research to authenticate the discussion. You may also take the current global economic slump for your topic and prepare an argument on the factors prompting such economic decline.

While writing your research paper always remember that dissertations or term papers act as the ideas and opinions of the author which are connected with facts and premise from reliable sources.