Expect retail sales to pick up in May, after a 10.4% rise in March and a modest 0.3% decline in April. More states and cities are lifting restrictions now that infection rates have continued to fall. Consumers are ready to respond to the opportunity. Retail sales excluding gasoline should rise 18% this year, and 8.6% for all consumer spending.All this spending is likely to boost yearly GDP growth to 6.6% at least.
All sales categories are benefiting from the surge, and have surpassed prepandemic spending levels, with the exception of restaurants. The strongest-growing sectors over the past 14 months have been sporting goods stores, e-commerce, building materials and motor vehicles. Restaurant sales will likely show the strongest growth over the next several months as more restrictions are lifted. Spending on meals out and on services will likely depend on progress in vaccinations. 59% of adults have received at least one vaccine dose so far.
Spending should continue to show strength during the rest of the year, as high savings and growing employment income take over from the initial burst of spending fueled by stimulus checks. Also, federal aid to state and local governments will reinstate more of these lost jobs, leading to more spending by rehired workers. Finally, enhanced unemployment benefits to a sizable group of laid off workers are scheduled to continue until September 6.
Capital equipment spending looks to be having a banner year. Expect 15% growth this year, compared with just 0.2% last year. New orders will rise a similar amount. Purchases of machinery are robust, as are computer sales. However, some sales of electronics, motor vehicles and machinery are being temporarily slowed by the shortage of semiconductors. Businesses are responding to rising demand by implementing expansion plans, though large firms are more enthusiastic than small firms at this time.
Likely beneficiaries of the spending binge include makers of industrial robots and 3D printers. Workers are in short supply in manufacturing. Robots can help, and they reduce the need for worries about social distancing among workers. 37% of U.S. assembly plants plan to invest in 3D printers, a record high. Interest is also high in collaborative robots, which work in close contact with humans instead of as stand-alone ‘bots. 31% of assemblers are currently using the technology or plan to within the next year, and 17% within two to three years.
A boost for purchases of oilfield equipment seems likely, now that the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has surpassed $60 per barrel, its highest level since the beginning of 2020. The number of active drilling rigs has been on a steady upward path since the beginning of October.
Believe it or not, The Simple Dollar started as a side business. It began as an email newsletter where I shared thoughts on personal finance, with some embedded links to Amazon to help pay the bills. It was one side business among many that I’ve started over the years, and the biggest success. Each side business started with a simple goal: I saw a need someone else had that I could fulfill and earn some money by doing so, and I was willing to spend some of my spare time and energy doing it.
If you’re interested in turning your spare time and energy into a side business, there are countless opportunities for doing so. The ideas below are inspirations. Take them, look around your life and your community for needs that they might fulfill, and build that idea into something that helps people and makes you money.
(Heads up: Before you leap into starting a side business, research if there are licenses, permits or education required in your city or state for that type of gig.)
In this article
50 side businesses you can start on your own
Auto detailing. Thoroughly clean, wash and wax a car for a client. This usually takes several hours, but you can charge a reasonable hourly rate for the service. This type of business works well if promoted on social media.
Babysitting. Babysitting is child care that tends to fall below the limits of what’s required for licensing by the state. Watching one or two children occasionally usually doesn’t require a license, though it’s harder to turn into a full business. This makes babysitting a perfect side gig for those who love children.
Airbnb hosting. If you have a large home, you can easily turn a portion of your home into an Airbnb rental for vacationers. This is particularly true if you can partition off part of your home with its own entrance and exit, or if you live in another location part of the time. Here’s some advice on starting your own Airbnb.
Freelance writing / blogging. There are many opportunities for online writing to earn money. If you want to write one-off articles for a few bucks, check out sites like Fiverr where people will pay you for articles. If you want to build something for yourself, services like Medium and Substack give you the opportunity to build your own name — it’ll take time to earn much, but it’s the way to go over the long haul.
Buying and reselling on eBay. If you have specialized knowledge of a particular type of item, you can make money buying items and reselling them on eBay. Watch for those types of items at thrift shops and yard sales and jump on big bargains you find.
Cake baking. Baking cakes for birthdays and weddings is a great gig if you love to bake and have a touch for decoration. The costs are low to get started and there’s always demand. Before doing this, you’ll want to check the rules in your state regarding baking and home food preparation.
Snow plowing. If you can invest in a snow plow or blade for your truck, snow plowing is a great way to earn money during winter weather. There are always driveways and parking lots to be cleared of fresh snow to make way for customers.
Dog walking. If you have spare time during a typical weekday and love dogs, being a dog walker can be a great side gig.
Creating custom T-shirts. If you have a place to install a screen printing machine, you can get into the business of making custom T-shirts for people. With the right equipment and a good eye for design, this can turn into a pretty lucrative side business.
Miniature painting. If you have an eye for detail, there’s a surprisingly lucrative market in painting miniatures and reselling them. There’s a very large subculture that enjoys collecting painted miniatures, mostly for use in tabletop games. Painting these miniatures is a craft you can easily sell on Etsy, eBay, or other online sales sites. Here’s a great beginner’s guide.
House or business cleaning. Many people are strapped for time and find basic house cleaning services or business cleaning useful. While there are many organized businesses that do it, you may be able to find clients by going independent and using a lower rate, cutting out the middleman. You might also advertise additional services, such as laundry service (you take X pounds of laundry, clean it, fold it, and return it for a certain amount per pound).
Accounting. If you’re an accountant, offering your services as a bookkeeper for a small business or institution can be a great side business. Many institutions have small-scale bookkeeping needs and are glad to hire someone to take care of it, so if you’re looking for a little extra work and income that uses your skills, consider freelance bookkeeping or accounting!
Pet sitting. This is a great extension to dog walking. People would hire you to take care of their pets while they travel, either by bringing them to you or you stopping in and feeding and caring for them while they’re away.
Freelancing small graphic design projects. If you have graphic design skills, there are infinite small gigs you can find on sites like Fiverr or Upwork, things like designing a quick podcast logo.
Social media managing. Many small businesses want to have a social media presence, but don’t have the time for it. For a small fee, you can manage the social media feeds of a small business. The owner simply sends you any promotions or new information about the business and you promote them on social media.
Photography. If you have a quality camera setup and photography skills, you can put out your shingle as an event photographer or a portrait photographer. For this, it’s a good idea to put together a portfolio of some of your best photography for people to see. You might want to start by taking portraits of family and friends, as well as taking photos of events that show off your work.
Antique refurbishing. Turning antiques that are in poor shape into stunning pieces is a lucrative side gig. It requires a lot of care and very patient time investment so that you don’t damage or ruin the antique, which requires research into how to properly refurbish items.
Pet grooming. If you enjoy pets, pet grooming can be a great side business. Washing pets, trimming their nails, trimming their hair, and other tasks are things that many pet owners will hire others to take on. Be aware that in many areas, this requires a kennel license, so you’ll want to look into the requirements in your area before diving in.
Event coordinating. An event coordinator helps people manage smaller events that they want to pull off. Parties, community events and other such things often have event coordinators who organize vendors and make sure things are in place for a great event!
Event DJing. If you have a good speaker system and enjoy playing music for crowds and getting them to dance (some emceeing is usually part of the job), then being an event DJ may be right for you.
Teaching exercise classes. Many community centers and small fitness centers offer exercise classes largely based on the availability of teachers, and teachers are often paid as a percentage of the income of the class. If you’re very familiar with the ins and outs of a particular type of exercise, this might be a good side gig to start.
Gardening, lawn or landscaping services. This involves things like mowing yards, caring for yards with seed and fertilizer, trimming bushes and taking care of gardens around homes. This requires some equipment, but the tasks are very straightforward if you’re willing to do the work!
Handyman services. If you’re willing to perform odd jobs and minor repairs around a home, offering handyman services might be perfect for you. Many people offer their services for this type of work on Thumbtack, so it may be a good place to start.
Catering. Before doing this, you’ll want to check the rules in your state regarding home food preparation. If you’re able to license to be a caterer, catering for events can be a great side gig. It requires food preparation skills and planning skills, but the service is a valuable one in many situations.
Interior decorating. Some people are simply unskilled at tastefully arranging a room in their home and need help making it look appealing (I’d put myself in this category). That’s where an interior decorator can step in. Examples of your own decor can help start your portfolio and attract clients.
Pet waste cleanup. Many people find themselves with yards or homes that are overrun with pet waste. With some appropriate tools and patience, you can help resolve this problem.
Knitting, crocheting, or quilting. These types of projects are easily done at home with just a bit of equipment. You can then sell your fabric items online. Make small quilts, knit baby hats or crochet blankets — they’ll all sell well on Etsy.
Writing ebooks. If you enjoy writing and have a firm grasp on how to write longform fiction or nonfiction, ebook writing can be a lucrative path to follow. You self-publish your books on the Kindle store and/or other places where ebooks are sold, do some promotion, and earn money from every sale.
Furniture making. If you have woodworking equipment and tools available, you can make lots of furniture items and sell them for a profit. Things like end tables and Adirondack chairs are easily made in a small woodworking shop and sell well.
Meal-to-go preparing. This one’s easy: You prepare full family-sized meals that they can either take home and eat immediately or take home and freeze, finishing the cooking with a simple step later on. Before doing this, you’ll want to check the rules in your state regarding home food preparation.
Personal or virtual assistant. Many busy people have great use for a personal assistant, whether in-person or virtual. You just handle life tasks or simple business tasks for the client, such as handling phone calls and email communications or other small personal errands.
Public speaking / teaching. Is there a topic you know a lot about? Develop it into an hour-long presentation and then offer to give that presentation at local libraries or other events to hone it. If it clicks, you can find opportunities to be paid to present on that topic.
Jewelry making. If you have the tools, the skills and the taste to make jewelry items, you can turn this into a pretty lucrative side business selling items on online stores like Etsy. Most of the tools are inexpensive, and the know-how to get started can be found on YouTube.
Growing produce to sell. If you have a lot of yard space and enjoy gardening, you can grow lots of produce and sell the excess at farmers markets or directly to grocery stores. This is actually a side business my father engaged in for many years, particularly with tomatoes and potatoes, and he found it quite lucrative.
Proofreading and editing. Someone who is skilled with written language can find many opportunities to start a side business in proofreading and editing. You can get started building a resume by looking on sites like sites like Fiverr or Upwork. Doing good work will generate clients who keep coming back to you.
Scrapbook-making. Many people want to have beautiful scrapbooks and photo albums of memorable events or periods in their life. They hand you some photographs and paraphernalia and you assemble them into a custom scrapbook for a fee.
Delivery driving. This became a very popular side business for people during COVID, with many people making a few bucks driving their own vehicle to make deliveries for services like DoorDash. When you’re available, you fire up the app and you’ll be contacted for deliveries.
Assisting senior citizens. Many families want to hire someone to assist seniors that they care about who might be having difficulty with some basic tasks, like food preparation or grocery shopping or basic house cleaning, and simply being a companion and someone to talk to. If you’re friendly and able to communicate well with senior citizens, this can be a great side gig.
Sewing and altering. If you have a sewing machine and know how to use it, you can turn simple sewing tasks and garment alterations into a side gig.
Computer troubleshooting. Computer troubles can be frustrating, particularly for people who are less than tech-savvy. Doing home visits to troubleshoot computer and basic home networking problems can be a great side gig. I can vouch for this side gig with personal experience, as I was running a computer troubleshooting side gig around the time of the launch of The Simple Dollar!
Seasonal decorating. Some households love to have tasteful seasonal decorations, but don’t have the time to do it well. You can help people set up yard displays for holidays such as Halloween or Christmas for a fee. They give you a budget, you buy the items within that budget, and you get a fee on top of that.
Making soap and spa products for resale. Many basic soap and spa products can easily be made at home, though some of them involve chemicals you will want to be very careful with. You’ll also want to look into specific rules and regulations about making and selling such products in your state.
Teaching a musical instrument. If you know how to play a musical instrument well and have patience, you can become a private music teacher. You’ll often be teaching performers the basics as they decide if the instrument is right for them, often children.
Tutoring. If you are an expert on a particular school subject, for example, your college major, you might be perfect for tutoring students on that subject.
Creating smartphone apps. If you’re a skilled computer programmer, you can learn a language like SwiftUI and spend your spare time creating smartphone apps. This starts, above all else, with a great idea for an app.
Website designing. If you’re proficient with web technologies and design, many small businesses and individuals would love to tap your skills to improve their web presence. You can start building a portfolio by volunteering to create sites for small public events, and use that portfolio to find paid clients.
Wedding planning. This expands on the “event coordinator” idea from earlier and focuses on one particular, complex event. Wedding planning involves coordinating lots of vendors and being responsive to the needs and wishes of the bride and groom. If you’re a “people person” and well-organized, this can be a great side gig.
Translating. Can you speak another language fluently? This ability alone opens you up for a great side gig as a translator. There may be situations in which someone has a strong need for someone to be able to translate on their behalf. There are many translation gigs available on sites like Upwork, and a great performance can build a long-term client.
Business or life coaching. Many people have the tools they need to build the life they want, they just need some guidance and motivation. If you’re an effective communicator and good at translating ideas into concrete goals and plans, you might just be a perfect business or life coach. Check your state for certification or education requirements.
Resume writing. People in the job market often need help polishing their resume into something that shines.
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Too long, didn’t read?
There are lots of great ideas out there for a small business. Just think about what your skills and traits are and find an idea that matches it well. Then, ask yourself what exactly you’re selling, what your fees might be, how you’ll find and attract customers, and whether you’ll need a license to perform that business. Once you have a good grasp on those ideas, you’re well on your way to success!
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Sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side. Sometimes, it’s just more of the same.
So when it comes to leaving your current job for a new one, how can you tell beforehand if the opportunity is really worth it?
While there’s always going to be risk involved when changing employers, you can make a more confident choice by considering some key factors. Here are the most important variables to take into account before changing jobs.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, many employees can work from home just as efficiently as they would at the office. While some companies have vowed to continue letting people partially or permanently work from home, others have steadfastly refused to make working from home the new normal.
If you prefer a more flexible schedule because of family commitments, chronic health problems, or any other reasons, work-from-home flexibility should be a high priority.
Health insurance is one of the most important factors to consider. A company that pays your premiums is essentially giving you hundreds of dollars in benefits every month.
Ask about the health insurance coverage before you accept a new position, specifically how much the monthly premiums will cost. Many small businesses are not required to provide coverage for their employees. If you’re applying to work at a small company, inquire about health insurance early on.
If the company does not provide coverage, you’ll have to buy a policy from the HealthCare Marketplace, where you’ll be 100% responsible for the premiums.
Paid Time Off
Paid time off is another major consideration to take into account before leaving one company for another. If your employer has a generous vacation policy, you may be surprised to find out that other companies are more strict.
Paid time off includes vacation days, sick days, holidays, and parental leave. If you plan to have kids soon, examine your company’s maternity leave policy so you can compare it to prospective employers.
Retirement Contributions and Stock Options
If you currently receive matching 401(k) contributions from your employer, double-check the vesting schedule of your new job. The vesting schedule outlines how quickly you’ll earn 100% of the employer contributions.
Many employers have a graded vesting schedule, which means that every year you will earn a certain percentage of the employer contributions. For example, if your company has a five-year vesting schedule, you’ll pocket 20% of their contributions every year. Once you’ve worked there for five years, you’ll receive 100% of the contributions.
Others use a cliff vesting schedule, which has an all-or-nothing requirement. You have to work there for a certain number of years to be eligible for 100% of the employer’s contributions. If you work less than that, you won’t be eligible for any of it. If you don’t plan to stay at your next job very long, then it’s important to understand the vesting schedule.
Public companies often provide stock options to their employees, which can be worth thousands of dollars in extra benefits. Employees with a stock purchase plan can buy company stock at a discount and resell it later for a profit.
If you plan to go back to school, look for a company that provides tuition reimbursement. Many employers will pay for all or part of your tuition, but the benefits vary.
Some will require that your degree applies to your current position, while others will be more lenient. If you don’t want a full degree, you may be able to convince your employer to pay for special courses or certificates that will also boost your resume.
Some companies have begun to offer student loan reimbursement. With these programs, employers contribute to your student loans by either matching payments or providing a set amount each year. Like a 401(k) match, you may have to work there for a certain period of time to qualify.
Room for Advancement
If you’re searching for a firm where you can stay for several years or more, it’s important to consider if there’s room to grow. The bigger the company is, the more likely it is that you can stay there and get promoted to another position. That’s harder to do at smaller companies where room for advancement may be limited.
The general office environment can impact your overall job satisfaction, but it’s a topic often neglected during the interview process. If you’re interviewing in-person, notice how the office looks and how employees are acting.
Do you hear laughter or is it dead quiet? Do they have a diverse staff? Are there fun initiatives, like casual Fridays, or does there seem to be a strict dress code? Depending on what you’re looking for, the answers to questions like these are crucial.
No one wants to get a job only to be laid off months later. Before switching companies, investigate your prospective employer to see if they’re in danger of shuttering or being sold.
Look through recent press clippings, especially from the local newspaper or business journal. If you have friends in the industry, ask if they think the company is stable.
Sometimes you can’t help but take a risk, like if you’re working for a start-up or in a volatile industry. In this case, you should have a sizable emergency fund and keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated in case you lose your job.
Education and Training
When you’re interviewing at a job, ask if they pay for employee education, like attending industry-wide conferences or local training sessions. It’s valuable to work for a company that cares about employee professional development.
If you don’t expand your breadth of knowledge, then you may find yourself in a tough spot years later when looking for another job, with out-of-date skills.
Use Your Intuition
If you’ve considered all the factors listed above but are still getting a bad vibe about the new job, don’t hesitate to back out. Your gut intuition may be telling you something important about the company that you can’t verbalize clearly.
The trade deficit widened in January to a seasonally adjusted $68.2 billion, from a revised $67 billion in December — an increase of 1.8%. The surge in household demand for goods following the onset of the pandemic is the main driving force of the larger deficit in trade. The U.S. economy has bounced back faster than most of its trading partners, resulting in imports outpacing exports. The trade deficit is also widening because depressed global demand continues to hurt U.S. export growth. Widespread vaccinations this year will result in a slight shift in household consumption away from goods and toward services, and a gradual normalization of activity in the services sector.
Pandemic-induced demand by U.S. households fueled imports. Total imports rose 1.2% in January, with imports of goods modestly outpacing imports of services. The former were driven higher by inbound shipments of consumer goods. Booming consumer spending and lean levels of retail inventories indicate that the strength in consumer imports will continue.
Exports of consumer goods will gain momentum as the world economy continues to improve this year. Exports rose 1% in January, with industrial supplies and capital goods notching the strongest gains. The trade balance in services swung to a surplus for the first time since June, as exports outpaced imports. Still, services exports continue to struggle amid restrictions related to COVID-19. Total exports remain well below their prepandemic level.
Everyone needs extra money from time to time, and this doesn’t change when you have bad credit. Unfortunately, your options become much more limited when you have bad credit. This makes it difficult to qualify for a loan, even when you need it to cover a financial emergency.
Whether you’re wondering how to get a car loan with bad credit, pay hospital bills, or even qualify for a mortgage with bad credit, we’ll show you how to improve your credit score and get your finances back on track.
Not only will you find out how improving your credit score can save you money on your next loan, you’ll also learn steps you can start taking today to start building your credit.
How does bad credit affect your ability to get a loan?
Before you start looking for a loan, it’s important to get an accurate understanding of your credit score. Most lenders use the FICO scores, which ranges from a low of 300 to a high of 850. A “bad” credit score is typically defined as lower than 629.
If you want to know your exact number, you’ll have to purchase that information from FICO. But if you simply want to see what kind of derogatory items are on your credit report (and potentially fix them), you can request a free copy of each of your three credit reports.
It’s a good idea to take advantage of this free service every 12 months to check your reports for accuracy even if you’re not actively looking for a loan.
Once you’ve established whether or not your credit score is low, find out the exact impact bad credit can have on your life. Bad credit affects you both financially and emotionally, but the most expensive effect is the type of loan you’re able to get.
Higher Interest Rates
When applying for a loan, the lender will charge you higher interest rates for a poor credit score. That’s because your lender sees you as a greater financial risk, so they charge higher rates in case you default on the loan.
Higher interest rates can really add up over the life of the loan. Keep reading to find out exactly how much.
Even worse than getting a high interest loan, you may not qualify for a loan at all if your credit score is too low. If the loan is for something non-essential, then this may not be that big of a deal.
But it can significantly affect your well-being if you have serious financial needs, like car repairs or medical bills. At this point, some people decide to turn to “no credit check” lenders who offer predatory products like payday loans.
Though short-term, these loans have extraordinarily high APRs and often lead people into a cycle of never-ending fees for what started off as just borrowing a few hundred dollars. Luckily, there are many ways to avoid ending up in this situation.
Where can you get a loans for bad credit?
If you do have a poor credit history, some reputable lenders might be willing to offer you a loan. Just remember, you’re going to be paying a lot of interest on top of the amount you borrow.
Check Out Our Top Picks:
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
It’s always good to check with your local bank or credit union, although they are likely to have stricter lending standards and a slower origination process. If you have an existing relationship with a bank or credit union, they may be willing to help you out.
Many online lenders offer quick approval and funding, even for borrowers with a low credit score. Just be sure to do your research to make sure the company operates a legitimate business.
Before taking out a personal loan from anyone, check to see what kind of reviews that company has received and what its Better Business Bureau rating is.
Bad Credit Lenders
Here are a few online lenders that offer bad credit loans:
Avant is a major online lender offering bad credit loans that only requires a minimum credit score of 580.
MoneyMutual is a lending aggregator that offers short-term loans to borrowers with low credit. You do need to have a consistent monthly income of at least $800 to apply.
CashUSA partners with lenders offering loans to people with bad credit between $500 and $10,000. The credit and income requirements are flexible, but the interest rate could be pretty high.
BadCreditLoans.com is a lending marketplace for borrowers with bad credit who need quick access to cash. You could receive up to $10,000 with loan terms up to 60 months.
PersonalLoans.com is another lending marketplace that offers personal loans to borrowers with poor credit. You will need to prove that you have a monthly income of at least $2,000 to qualify.
OneMain has physical locations in addition to its online presence and actually has no credit score minimum. The company says its average customer has a credit score between 600 and 650. Don’t get too excited, though – your APR could be as high as 35.99%.
Things to Know About Applying for a Bad Credit Loan
If you do decide on getting a bad credit personal loan, keep a few things in mind so you don’t damage your credit scores even further. First, limit your number of loan applications.
Every time you apply for a loan, the lender makes an inquiry on your credit report. This lowers your credit score anywhere between one and five points depending on your situation.
That might not seem like a lot, but it could affect your interest rate if you’re on the border between “bad” and “fair” credit. Plus, many lenders view a large number of inquiries as a risk factor, especially if they’re all made within a short period of time.
Thoroughly research potential lenders in advance and see if they offer to make a soft pull on your credit rather than a hard one. That way you can compare interest rates without hurting your credit even more.
Going through a lending marketplace is a good way to limit your credit inquiries as well. With just one application, you’ll receive quotes from multiple lenders that are willing to work with you.
How much extra interest should you expect to pay on a loan with bad credit?
Even after getting approved for bad credit loans, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s going to be an expensive decision. Just how expensive depends on the terms and conditions of the loan.
On top of your interest rate, your lender may also charge an origination fee. Unfortunately, this is a pretty universal concept, so there’s not much you can do to avoid paying it.
The origination fee is usually charged as a percentage of your loan amount, so – just like interest – the more you borrow, the more you pay. You don’t have to come up with the cash upfront; instead, the fee is deducted from your loan.
Make sure you account for this deduction in your loan request. For example, if you need a $20,000 loan and there is a 3% origination fee, be sure to request $20,600 because 3% of $20,000 is $600.
Annual Percentage Rate
A helpful tool in determining the best interest rate and applicable fees is the loan’s annual percentage rate or APR. This number helps you compare offers that have different rates and fees to see which is better on an annual basis.
However, APR does not account for the loan term, which is the amount of time it will take you to pay off your loan. A loan may have an extremely low interest rate, but if it takes 10 years to pay off, you might actually end up paying a lot more in interest.
There are a lot of variables to consider when figuring out how much interest you’ll be paying. Let’s look at an example to help put these facts and numbers into context.
Auto Loan Calculator
Let’s say you want to figure out how to get a new car loan with bad credit. By using an online calculator, you can determine if making the purchase now is worth paying the extra interest compared to fixing your credit first.
According to Experian, the average length of a new car loan is 67 months and the average loan amount is $28,711. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you get a 60-month (five year) loan for $28,000. Here is how MyFICO estimates different credit scores to stack up in the same scenario.
The differences in the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan are jaw-dropping: a person in the lowest range pays nearly $9,500 more than someone in the highest range. So you wouldn’t be paying $28,000 for that new car, you’d actually end up paying almost $37,500.
Bumping your credit score up just 31 points from a 589 to a 620 could save over $4,600 in this scenario. Think of how many paychecks that adds up to before you decide on getting a loan with a bad credit score.
Total interest paid
720 – 850
690 – 719
660 – 689
620 – 659
590 – 619
500 – 589
Should you fix your credit before applying for a loan?
If you want to potentially save thousands of dollars on your next loan, then yes, you should consider fixing your credit before you apply. While some credit components take time to improve, there are many actionable steps you can take right now to improve your credit scores.
It’s always better to get a head start on the process rather than waiting for a financial emergency. If you don’t need the money right away, take the time to fix your credit now so you can save big when you are ready to borrow.
Here are five steps you can take right away to fix bad credit:
1. Dispute any errors on your credit report
Before you attempt to repair your credit, you want to know what you’re dealing with first. So the first place to start is by reviewing and disputing any errors on your credit report. And checking your report will give you a good idea of where you can begin making improvements.
2. Start making your payments on time
One of the easiest ways to raise your credit score is by making your monthly payments on time. Your payment history counts for a significant portion of your credit report, so if you struggle to make your monthly payments on time, your credit scores will take a hit.
And you may be surprised to learn that this applies to more than just lending products. It also includes credit cards, personal loans, home loans, utilities, and even your cell phone bill. Once you have that under control, start paying down any existing credit card debt.
3. Lower your credit utilization ratio
Your credit utilization ratio accounts for 30% of your credit score, meaning you’re not just judged on the amount you owe, but also on the amount you have borrowed compared to the amount you are allowed to borrow.
If your credit cards let you borrow up to $10,000 and your balance is $4,000, your credit utilization ratio is 40%. Ideally, your credit utilization ratio should be below 30%, so try to make extra payments until you can reach that ideal range.
4. Consider using a credit repair service
If you’ve already taken the steps we outlined above with minimal success, then you may want to consider hiring a professional. A credit repair service can dispute any negative items on your account and help improve your credit score faster than if you’re doing it on your own. Here is our top choice for a credit repair service.
By law, an item must be removed from your report if the creditor can’t verify it within 30 days. By having a tireless advocate on your side, you’ll make sure your current and past creditors are following the law. They will help you make sure your credit history has been updated to accurately reflect your financial history.
5. Show a lender can you repay the loan
Once you’ve put in the work to raise your credit score, it can help to look for ways to show an online lender, bank, or credit union that you’re able to repay the loan. Providing proof of income can give a lender more peace of mind and demonstrate that you’re financially capable of repaying the loan.
If you don’t have any proof of income and your credit score is still lower than you’d like, you can consider applying with a creditworthy co-signer. Ideally, this will be someone who has a good credit history and can vouch for you with your lender.
However, you should only use a co-signer if you’re certain you can repay the loan. If you default on a loan, the bank will go after your co-signer, which will put their financial future at risk.
How can you maintain your credit score once it’s fixed?
After taking the time and effort to raise your credit score, make sure you do everything in your power to keep it up — or get it even higher!
You might not be looking for another loan or line of credit at the moment, but you never know what your financial future will look like. Perhaps you rent an apartment now, but want to buy a house further down the road.
Getting a Mortgage
It’s hard to figure out how to get a mortgage with bad credit, so do your best to make sure you take care of your credit now. That means paying all your bills on time, setting aside cash for emergency savings, and not racking up unnecessary debt.
Remember, most infractions stay on your credit report for up to seven years, so the financial decisions you make now stick with you for a long time.
Renting an Apartment
Plus, think of all the ways poor credit affects your life outside of getting a loan. Many landlords run credit checks on prospective tenants, so it can be difficult to rent an apartment with bad credit.
Potential employers also sometimes run credit checks on job applicants to see how they handle their money. Why? They think that if you’re not responsible in your personal life, you probably won’t be responsible in your work life.
So bad credit not only affects your spending power, it affects your earning potential as well. Keep every door open by making a conscious effort to continually improve your credit. It would be a huge waste of time and effort to give up on all the progress you just made. Do yourself a favor and consciously manage your money going forward.
It certainly is possible for people with bad credit to get a loan, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for you. Analyze just how urgent your financial needs are. Then, decide if you can wait a while to improve your credit before taking out a high-interest loan.
A reputable credit repair service can help you aggressively put your credit score on the fast track to improvement. Check out our credit repair reviews page for a list of reputable credit repair companies that can get you started today.
If you’re interested in learning how to save money for a car, then you have come to the right place.
Buying a car, just like buying a house, can be quite exciting. But it is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. So you want to make sure you get it right and avoid some pitfalls. For example, are you going to pay for the car upfront with cash or are you going to borrow?
Do you need an auto loan? For most people, auto loan financing is the preferred and most affordable route. Whether you need a loan to finance your car or pay for it right away, you need to figure out how to save money for a car and develop a savings plan to help you reach your goal.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to get a car loan through the car dealership. It’s often cheaper to get a loan from a bank.
Find out: Get An Auto Loan Quote Today.
How to Save Money for a Car:
Before you start saving money for a car, it’s always a good idea to check your credit file or make sure you have a good credit score. Why is that important?
A good credit score not only can get you qualified for a car loan faster, but also it can save you thousands on interest.
So before you borrow money, get a free credit report at CreditSesame to now exactly what your credit score is and take steps to improve it.
1. Figure out how much money to save for a car.
Figuring out how to save money for a car shouldn’t be a problem once you figure out how much the car will cost you.
Cars are quite expensive. According to TrueCar.com, the average price for a new car is around $38,000. The average price for used cars is around $19,000.
For reviews on cars, list of cars, consumer reviews, or to find out what people are paying for cars, visit the following: CarGurus.com, Edmunds.com, or CarMax.
2. Figure out how you will pay your car.
Once you have an idea of how much money to save as a down payment for a car, you need to know which a loan to take out for the car.
It’s always a good idea and much cheaper to buy a car outright than it is to buy it on finance or taking out a loan through a bank. But if you don’t have the cash upfront, you will need to get a car loan. If you end up taking out a loan, make sure you shop around because interest rates and related fees and charges for car loans vary a lot.
Compare the rates now for your car loan.
3. Make saving money for a car a priority.
Keep in mind that while you’re saving money for a car, you need to also make sure to budget for your other expenses as well such as your mortgage and other monthly bills.
Once you figure out how much you’ll need to buy your car, the next step is to start saving money.
If you need to work extra to earn more money on the side, know that there are multiple ways to make extra money. From completing surveys to watching online videos. These extra cash should go towards car savings goal.
4. Set up a high interest savings account.
What is the best account to save for a car?
Instead of putting your money under your mattress, think about opening up an online high yield savings account. They offer better interest rate which compounds so you can interest on the interest and your savings keep growing.
5. Make your savings automatic.
One of the best ways to save money for a car is to make it automatic. If you have a job, transfer some of your paycheck directly into your savings account.
You can do it yourself or ask your employer to do it for you. Saving your money automatically allows you to ‘set it and forget it,’ so your savings will grow each time you get paid.
6. Save more and more.
Think about ways to cut back on necessary items like gym membership, clothes, subscription magazine, etc…
Track your everyday expenses , so you know what you’re spending your money on. The Personal Capital free and easy to use app will help you to keep track of where your money is going.
Before you buy a car, take time to learn how to save money for car by doing the following:
Check your credit score before you buy your care. That can save you thousands of dollars in interest. You can get a free credit score and credit report either at CreditSesame or Credit Karma.
Save as much money as you can to buy your car, and make savings a priority. Remember the more money you put down, the less you have to pay.
If you decide you’re gonna take a loan to buy a car, remember to shop around for the best deal. So take time to compare interest rates at LendingTree. Remember even a small difference in the interest rate can make a huge difference on how much you have to pay.
Related: How to Save 100k
Work with the Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you save 100k (whether you need it to pay off debt, to invest, to buy a house, or plan for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
When starting your own business, funding can be a big hurdle—in more ways than one. And if you’re not careful, the lines between business credit and personal credit can get blurry.
As you start setting up your business accounts, make sure you understand your business financing options and how they may affect you personally. Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between your business books and your personal credit score.
Tip: Are you ready to apply for a small business loan? See what rates you qualify for.
A Personal Guarantee: When Business Accounts Affect Personal Credit
Depending on what type of business you have and how you acquire credit, a business loan or credit card may affect your personal credit score. Specifically, if you personally guarantee a business account in any capacity, it can impact your personal credit.
In many cases, small business loans are guaranteed by an individual. That means you, as the sole proprietor or partner in the company, agreed to pay the debt. In such a case, the lender can seek to collect payments from you personally in the event your business can’t pay as agreed. This also positions you as a cosigner of sorts, which means the debt can be reported on your personal credit report.
Similarly, if you personally guaranteed a business line of credit, it can impact your credit history. Personal loans—including home equity loans—used to fund your businesses will affect your personal credit score as well.
Business Credit Cards
A business credit card is a great way to manage cash flow and increase your working capital. Whether or not information related to a business credit card account shows up on your personal credit report depends on how the account is set up. If you are an employee of a corporation and the company provides you with a business credit card to cover work expenses, it’s unlikely this card will be listed on your personal report. You’re simply an authorized business user for the card.
>> See our recommendations: best business credit cards.
However, as a small business owner with your own business credit card, you are considered more than an authorized user. You may be guaranteeing the account personally, which means it’s likely to show up on your report and impact your score. Before signing up for a business credit card, make sure you understand whether or not you are personally guaranteeing that account.
If you use a personal credit card for business expenses, those payments will also appear on your report and affect your score.
How to Keep Business Debt Off Personal Credit Reports
Now’s the time to think strategically about the best ways to keep your business credit score and personal credit history separate. Consider some of the options below.
Choose the Proper Business Structure
“As a sole proprietor, your business and personal credit will be one and the same,” says attorney Garrett Sutton, author of Own Your Own Corporation and founder of CorporateDirect.com. Choosing a company structure (such as an LLC, S Corp. or C Corp.) that separates business and personal finances may offer some benefits. Small business owners should talk to a business organization lawyer or CPA to find out what might work best for their situation.
Choose the Right Business Credit Card
You may be able to choose a business credit card that doesn’t routinely report activity to the consumer credit reporting agencies. However, you must make all payments on time to keep this so. Virtually all major small business cards will report if you default on the card.
Talk to Your Lender
Ask lenders whether they will check your personal credit reports for a business loan or payment plan. Those inquiries are hard pulls that affect your scores. Before committing to any financing offers, you should also ask about the lender’s policy for reporting loans. Review all contracts to determine whether or not they are requesting a personal guarantee. If you sign anything with your own name, rather than the name of your business, you may be held personally liable for the terms of that contract.
Before you tap your home equity line or personal credit cards to launch your venture, talk with a tax or financial adviser about alternatives. Loans against your 401(k) or other retirement plans, for example, don’t show up on consumer credit reports.
How Personal Debt Impacts Business Loans
Personal debt or a poor personal credit score could derail your prospects for a business loan depending on factors such as whether your business has its own score and what type of company organization you chose. Some lenders may only look at your business credit score or history, which is reported by three major business credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet. In other cases, such as with some working capital loans, the lender is more concerned with the historical fitness of your revenue streams and balance sheets than any credit score.
>> Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Business Credit Score
A loan you take out for business purposes could be based partly on your personal credit. If you are taking out a personal loan, such as a home equity line of credit, to help cover business expenses, your personal credit definitely matters. Even if you’re applying for an actual business loan, you may need to rely on your personal credit history if your company is new and doesn’t have its own history or successful revenue to trade on.
Get a Business Loan
If you’re ready to start or grow your business, check out your loan options.
The following is a guest post by Eric Lindeen, of Anna Buys Houses.
The second quarter of 2020 marked the highest U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (reported as 60-days past due) since 1979. Amidst the chaos of the pandemic, federal and state governments have made efforts to protect against the financial strain U.S. consumers are enduring—including mortgage payment forbearance of foreclosure.
What Is a Forbearance?
Forbearance is the postponement of mortgage payments, or the lowering of monthly payments for a specified time period; it’s not loan forgiveness. Repayment terms are negotiated between the borrower and lender. Mortgage forbearance is one tool to help protect homeowners from foreclosure due to temporary hardships, such as a job loss, natural disaster, or pandemic. Some homeowners may opt for strategic forbearance, meaning they proactively enter a forbearance agreement just in case they lose their ability to make their mortgage payments.
As of October 25, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that approximately 2.9 million U.S. homeowners are currently in forbearance plans. That number represents 5.83% of servicers’ portfolio volume. MBA data also shows that nearly 25% of all homeowners in forbearance plans have continued to make their monthly payment (perhaps an indicator of the use of strategic forbearance).
How Do Forbearance Plans Work?
Mortgage payment forbearance programs have come at a time when many Americans are losing their livelihood and others fear the potential fallout from the health and economic crisis. Not all forbearance plans are created equal. Therefore, it’s critical to understand how different plans are structured to protect your financial health and credit.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is one measure enacted to provide relief to consumers facing hardships due to the impacts of the coronavirus. One provision of the Act allows mortgage payment forbearance and provides other protections for homeowners with federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed or funded (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) mortgage loans.
If you have a federally or GSE-backed mortgage, no documentation is required to request forbearance, other than an assertion that you are facing a pandemic-related hardship. Borrowers are entitled to an initial forbearance period of up to 180 days. If necessary, an extension of an additional 180 days may be requested. Federally backed mortgages are protected against foreclosure through December 31, 2020.
Recently, the foreclosure moratorium was extended yet again to at least March 31, 2021 for GSE-backed loans (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Be sure you understand who owns your loan and the terms of your loan as these deadlines approach. Extensions are likely to continue to help borrowers keep their homes and lenders navigate the constant uncertainty that is 2020.
The CARES Act amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) with a provision that when a lender agrees to forbear an account of a consumer impacted by the pandemic, the consumer complies with the terms of the forbearance. Then, the mortgage issuer must report that account as current to credit reporting agencies.
How Your Credit Factors into Forbearance
On paper, knowing that your credit won’t be affected by forbearance seems like a good deal. There’s an important distinction here. Your loan doesn’t need to be current to qualify for forbearance under the CARES Act. However, any delinquencies on your account prior to entering a forbearance plan will impact your credit report. Make sure that your loan is current, and being reported as current to the credit bureaus, before you agree to a forbearance of foreclosure.
What about Private Mortgages?
Around 30% of single-family mortgages are privately owned. Many private banks and loan servicers have voluntarily implemented relief measures that don’t fall under the same protections of the CARES Act. Terms vary by institution and state of residence. And relief plans may not be structured in the same manner as federally-backed and funded loans.
For example, borrowers with private loans may be required to pay back all missed payments in a lump sum as soon as the forbearance period ends. Lump sum payments are not required for GSE-backed loans. Additionally, if modifications are made to a privately funded loan, the new terms could impact your credit score depending upon how the lender reports the status of your loan to the credit bureaus.
The good news is that the three major credit bureaus (i.e., Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are providing free weekly online credit reports through April 2021. Be sure to check these reports to ensure that the new terms of your loan are being reported as “paying as agreed” and not reported as late. Credit.com also has resources to help check and manage your credit.
It’s also important to understand the terms of your loan. Some homeowners who recently refinanced were asked to sign a form that was quickly described as “new COVID paperwork.” The fine print stated that their new loan was not eligible for forbearance relief measures.
Get matched with a personal loan that’s right for you today.
Mortgage payment forbearance is one tool that can protect homeowners from defaulting on their loan, damaging their credit, and worst of all, losing their home to foreclosure. Key takeaways include, knowing who owns your loan, who services your loan, and what type of protections are available to provide relief if the current economic crisis is impacting you or you fear that it might.
There are proactive steps to protect against foreclosure and determine the right path for your personal situation.
Bad credit is not something that can be solved overnight. Although you can work to repair your credit, progress usually takes time. Sometimes, you do not have time to wait for your credit score to improve because you need a loan right now.
Life has a habit of throwing unexpected expenses in your path such as an unexpected medical bill or car repair. Whatever has you seeking a personal loan, it is likely something that you need the money for soon. It might be ideal to wait for your credit score to improve but that is not always possible.
Luckily, there are many online lenders that are willing to provide bad credit personal loans for $5,000 or more. Let’s take a look at some of the best lenders who provide personal loans to people with bad credit.
Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit
You can absolutely secure a personal loan with bad credit. However, you should keep in mind that you will likely not receive the best terms. With bad credit, lenders are likely to charge you a higher interest rate for the loan. Make sure you absolutely need a personal loan before moving forward.
CashUSA serves as your one-stop shop to connect with online lenders that offer personal loans with bad credit. With a quick request process, CashUSA will work to connect you to a lender that is willing to work with you.
CashUSA lenders provide personal loans with a loan amount of $500 to $10,000. APR can vary widely based on the individual lender and your credit score, but it can range between 5.99% to 35.99%. The interest rate is variable with terms between 90 days and 72 months. Funds are deposited directly into your bank account.
Full review of CashUSA
As the name suggests, BadCreditLoans.com is a place to find unsecured personal loans if you have bad credit. BadCreditLoans.com is not a direct lender but the site will connect you to lenders that are willing to work with you.
Lenders in the BadCreditLoans.com network offer loan amounts up to $10,000. Although most of the personal loans through these lenders are smaller than $10,000, it is possible to obtain the full $10,000.
The APR on personal loans can range between 5.99% and 35.99%. Interest rates are variable but generally on the shorter side, starting at just 3 months. You can get the money deposited in your bank account as soon as the next business day.
Full review of BadCreditLoans.com
PersonalLoans.com works to connect borrowers with personal loan offers between $500 and $35,000. If you have bad credit, then you should not expect to be approved for the maximum $35,000 loan. Although not everyone is able to qualify for the maximum amount, every applicant can request the amount they are seeking.
The APR on personal loans ranges from 5.99% to 35.99%. The APR you qualify for will be largely based on your credit score. One big benefit offered by PersonalLoans.com is the flexibility of repayment terms which range from 6 to 72 months. You’ll have the ability to choose the timeframe you’d like to repay the loan.
A final benefit of these personal loans is that there is no prepayment penalty. You’ll be able to repay your debt as quickly as you’d like without any repercussions.
Full review of PersonalLoans.com
Although Avant typically works with borrowers of average to above-average credit, it is still a company worth looking into. You do not need good credit to apply for an Avant personal loan.
The company offers personal loans with loan amounts between $1,000 and $35,000 with APRs that range from 9.95% to 35.99%. Many Avant borrowers are using the personal loan as a way to consolidate their debts. If you are using this strategy to rebuild your credit, the Avant may be the right choice for you.
Full review of Avant
You can obtain a personal loan from OneMain Financial with a loan amount of between $1,500 and $25,000. However, the company has set slightly different limits for each state, so you will need to confirm your state’s limit with your local office.
As an applicant, you’ll have the option to pursue a secured or unsecured personal loan. If you have poor credit scores, then a secured loan may be the better option.
The interest rates will vary greatly based on your credit history but you can expect an APR range from 25.10% to 36%. The maximum loan term we’ve seen in 60 months. Make sure you ask about the origination fee as it varies per state.
One thing to note about these personal loans is that they will need to be executed after communication with a loan officer. That means you’ll need to make an appointment with a loan officer and talk to them in-person or over the phone.
Full review of OneMain Financial
This Chicago-based lender works with borrowers across the country to provide bad credit personal loans. The company offers unsecured personal loans with a loan amount of $1000 up to $10,000.
NetCredit evaluates each loan application on a case-by-case basis. Your loan offer will likely vary greatly based on your credit score and the state you live in.
Since the company works in many states, the APR range is extremely wide, from 36% to 155%. You’ll need to check out NetCredit in your state to better understand what this company can offer you. There may also be an origination fee depending on where you live.
Full review of NetCredit
A personal loan can seem difficult to obtain at a bank or credit union if you have bad credit. However, the lenders above can help you get approved for a loan to fund whatever life throws your way.
While it is possible to obtain a personal loan with a poor credit score, it may not be the best financial move, especially if you want to use it to consolidate credit card debt. It is more than likely that you will be offered unfavorable loan terms and high interest rates, which could cost you thousands over the course of your loan.
You could be using those funds to pay down other debts to improve your credit score. With a higher credit score, you’ll be able to obtain more favorable personal loan terms in the future. With that said, bad credit installment loans are still usually a better option than payday loans. Just make sure you can afford the monthly payments before you move forward with a personal loan.
Before applying for short-term loans, think of other ways that you could fund the immediate emergency. You could sell belongings, pick up a side hustle, or find a way to fix the problem yourself. If you are interested in rebuilding your credit score, then take advantage of our free DIY guide.