Let’s Talk About Prosper…

While researching different p2p (peer to peer) lending platforms, I learned that the two most popular and mainstream options are Lending Club and Prosper. They have similar set-ups and goals, but they certainly differ in their requirements to be a lender. They’re both great, it just depends on how much money that you have to start off with. Lending Club requires a starting amount of $1,000.00. That also means that you could start to make a decent monthly return (don’t forget that return includes BOTH principal payment and interest together, not just interest). My financial situation does not allow for me to have a free $1,000.00 hanging around…yet. I’ll get there eventually. Patience is key in the financial improvement world when you have little to start with. In comes Prosper. Honestly, I know more about Prosper than Lending Club simply because I am able to invest with them. Prosper only requires a first deposit of $25 and the minimum to invest in a loan is $25.

So yay! You’ve ready to invest your first $25 into a loan! Where do you start? What’s your game-plan going to be? Don’t know yet? Neither did I, and I’m still learning and growing. Bear in mind this one awesome detail: you don’t have to fun an entire loan by yourself (and in my opinion you probably shouldn’t). You can put in as little as $25 per loan. These loans are funded by a large group of investors, not just one, so it’s less risky if you invest in many loans with smaller amounts, than one loan with a larger amount. How do you choose which ones to invest in? It’s tempting when you get on the list of available loans and you see that D grade loan with a 23% interest rate that looks so attractive…soooooo attractive. Then you see the A grade loan next to it that looks…not quite as attractive. You think to yourself: really? 7%? Ugh. But there’s something important about the difference between these two loans and it’s a huge deal when you can’t afford to lose any money. As attractive as that high interest loan might seem…it may not be the best option for you…or it could the be that the A grade loan isn’t right. I’ll tell you why.

 

When Prosper vets’ borrowers they have a multi-step process. Borrowers enter information about their finances including their income, what the loan is for, etc. Prosper also tells the individuals funding the loan valuable information that could sway an investor one way or another. Prosper rates each loan based on historical statistics of loans of its kind. The ratings go from 1-11, with 11 being the more secure loan to invest in, and 1 being the riskiest (according to Prospers algorithm). Personally, I know that people make mistakes just like I have, so I give a little wiggle room when it comes to the grade and I generally accept 7 or higher. I think about it like this: on paper I did not look that great in the past, but I’d not default on paying a private loan to anyone, as I know that people work very hard for their money just like me. Therefore, I know that Prospers number grade may not encompass the entirety of that borrower. Even with their advanced systems they can’t avoid a borrower who may default on their loan who may have a great numbered grade. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Then I look further because I need more info to decide, but Prospers grade is a good starting point. I’ll let that info sink in for now.

I know it’s a whole world of financial possibility that I’ve introduced you to, and we’ll talk about the next steps in my consequent posts. Remember, you can always message me questions and I’ll get back to you asap!

 

P.S. Also, please remember to consult a certified financial advisor when it comes to the big decisions that you need help with. Although I have knowledge in this area, I would not pretend to be an expert. Happy financial improving! 😊Holding-Hundred-Dollar-Bills_4460x4460

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Let’s Talk About Finances…

I can hear the collective groan now…do we, as artists really have to think about finances? Well, first of all, we’re still people, too, so the answer is: yup (unfortunately). I know that money and art don’t necessarily go hand in hand (I’m there with ya). I would like to share some information and tips that I have learned in the last year or more to help my fellow artists (and anyone who’d like assistance) to better their lives by improving their financial portfolio. Now, I am not a financial advisor or a guru of some sort, so please get professional help if need be and look at your finances with an advisor. These are simply the musings of an artist trying to get by!

About two years ago I was financially flailing. My credit score was about 1-200 points lower than it is now, and I came to the realization that a low credit score was really harming my ability to pay off a credit card that I’d gotten when I was young (and how that debt got there: that’s another story filled with me having no idea about the repercussions, aka interest, of my actions when I was younger). This debt has followed me around for years. Since I had such a high interest rate that was forcing me to throw money down the toilet every month, I decided that I needed to start working on improving my credit so that I could better my situation gradually. I also knew that I’d be moving out on my own at some point and that my credit would need to be elevated. Ah, being an adult. IT WAS DAUNTING. So…I started researching ways to slowly incorporate better financial strategy in my life.

The first step…is the hardest one: grabbing the bull by the horns and combing through your statements to see where you can begin to curb your spending. For me it’s been my Starbucks habit (I now only go once a week and I’ve cut my spending down from about $200+ to $50-$60 per month, at most). So yay! I get a special date with myself once a week and I get to keep more money, too! I know, it’s painful, but you can do it, as well! Think about it this way: for me that’s about $1,680 in savings per year…that could definitely pay a few monthly bills! What do you do that slowly demolishes your pay? The second step: still pretty daunting, but very liberating once you face it.

The 2nd step is to find out if you’re eligible for a credit card. I recommend applying for a secured credit card if you’re ready because they are designed to help those of us who are re-building our credit health. The way they accomplish this is by only having a very small credit limit (mine with Capital One was $200) so you don’t go overboard with your spending. It’s a great way to practice changing your habits while having a safer system than a regular credit card. There are lots of offers out there, but I recommend using Capital One because it comes with an easy to use set of tracking tools. The app allows you to see exactly how much credit you have and have used. It also informs you about your financial health by consistently showing you your credit score, providing information about the factors effecting your credit, and giving you tips on how to improve your score. By following the steps suggested, you can start to build your confidence in your financial setup. I have come to find out through my own experience how important and beneficial this is. In the last two years I have grown financially and I’ve realized many things, but one of the most important things I came to realize is that it is very expensive to not have money. Having a great credit score means that you will be offered better deals on financial products, especially interest rates. Interest rates are where the bank gets your money. With high interest rates you end up paying the bank more money in the long run because you have a low credit score. With a higher credit score the bank gives you a lower interest rate, and you end up paying less money in the long run than you would have otherwise. Weird, right? It seems backwards, but I hope to inspire you to think outside the box and turn the cycle back in your favor as I am trying to do on my end as well.

These ideas are just scratching the surface and there is more to come. Stay tuned and have a great day!

 

Disclaimer: please do what is best for you financially. My tips and ideas have worked well for me, but each situation is different. For personal advice please go to a financial advisor and find out your options.

Good Financial Cents…Get It?

Hello! Welcome back to the blog. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, I’ve been off on my own financial and life adventures, and I hope you have, too! Now, where were we? Yes, collective groaning about finances and talking about improving credit scores…and continuing on with some info about the current state of Balance Transfers. Well, ready to dive in? Okay!

APR financing stands for annual percentage rate of charge, and although that sounds like a very odd concept to many, it’s one that is really important to understand. I’m sure many of you get emails and snail mail that advertise 0%APR financing for 12 months, 15 months, and so on and so forth…well…that’s great! What that means is that when you sign up with said credit card company you will pay 0% interest on your total balance each month for that many months. No fees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wahoo!!!!! It’s fabulous…and it feels that way, but don’t get caught not paying attention to where you are in the cycle. It’s easy to forget when your introductory period is going to be over…and then watch out…the interest is going to accumulate. You will need to make sure that you are keeping a low balance or no balance when the time is up, because you will certainly notice a big difference in the fees that you owe at the end of the month…and they add up fast. So…I’m here to tell you that with a  little bit of self-discipline (not spending money you don’t actually already have…I’m right there with you on that one, trust me) and knowledge of how the system works…you can create better financial health. Here are several of the top offers on the market for the moment…happy researching!

Although there are currently a range of options when it comes to how long each companies introductory offer, creditkarma.com states that the top 3 credit offers OVERALL (including rate of cash back and other benefits), are as follows:

  1. Chase Freedom Unlimited (heck yes 15mos. 0% APR and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases+$150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases during the first 3 months of your offer). Yay! Oh, I forgot to tell you…some cards even offer sign-up bonuses. Yep, you get money (if you’re approved and you follow the rules, of course).
  2. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card                                                               This is a great offer, and I can say that from personal experience. This is actually one of the cards that I currently have. I have been very impressed with Capital Ones’ customer service and their quality. I love the fact that I can choose a variety of ways that I want to cash out my rewards…even by buying gift cards! I can also rack up my cash rewards without them EVER expiring! The technical deets are: 0%APR for 15 months, unlimited 1.5% cash back, and no annual fee either…YEESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Wells Fargo Platinum Card                                                                                                           This one offers something unique on top of the introductory 0% APR for 18 months offer (wow)! You are eligible for a maximum amount of $600 protection…on your phone…when you follow all of their requirements (always…ALWAYS…follow the requirements, otherwise you will be denied the offers and lose out on money you could have benefited from). That’s worth looking into! They also offer zero liability protection for charges that are reported within a certain amount of time…also seriously worth looking into…Even I might have to look into this…There are a myriad of other benefits as well…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Well…wow that was informational for me as well! As you can see, offers are constantly changing, so keep an eye out for the next best thing, and the next best tip…I know I will be! Keep tuned here for more information, always, and tips to think about on your journey. As always, this information has worked for me, but it doesn’t mean it will work for you and your finances. Although I have found successes, each financial story is different and it really is best to speak to a professional adviser when it comes to the big money choices in life. Please leave comments and questions below, and I will answer asap!  Until we chat again, ciao, and enjoy your next big adventures!

 

My Process

Thank goodness for Starbucks…I’m always brainstorming new business ideas, blog posts, and how to succeed in life! To check out one of my newest ventures please look at etsy.com/shop/millennialpets and “like” my store! You’ll get updates frequently, and access to some FABULOUS deals that are tough to find elsewhere! Plus…if you have any questions about e-commerce and how to run your own store I’ll be happy to help. 🙂

My Process

Thank goodness for Starbucks…I’m always brainstorming new business ideas, blog posts, and how to succeed in life! To check out one of my newest ventures please look at etsy.com/shop/millennialpets and “like” my store! You’ll get updates frequently, and access to some FABULOUS deals that are tough to find elsewhere! Plus…if you have any questions about e-commerce and how to run your own store I’ll be happy to help. 🙂

Let’s Talk About…Finances and the Different Internet Options Available…

home-office-336378_1920

Hello everyone! It’s that time of year again, where we are all recovering from the holiday season energy-wise and financially as well. I hope that everyone had a wonderful time celebrating their respective holidays and traditions, as did I! Now for the nitty gritty: what are you going to do to make back the money you spent on the holidays…that can be quite daunting!

Personally, I have several options in mind, 3 of which I am actively engaged in. I’ve told you about Prosper and how you can be your own bank, but what if you don’t have the money to put up to start an account? Well, luckily enough, the online world is buzzing with opportunities to make money in ways many people never dreamed of, whether it’s a few bucks or an entire income.

Option #1: Put that iPhone to good use (other than beating all of the levels of gummy drop, that is, lol). Many folks are making a side income by becoming couriers. At this point delivery services like Instacart, Postmates, Seamless, etc., are so popular and in such high demand that you can literally apply right from your phone, and sign up in minutes. I decided to try this and I signed up with Postmates just to make a few dollars on the side. I’ve only done a few deliveries so far (I usually do one or two after work a couple of times per week), and that has helped solve the post gift buying blues by adding to my bottom line little by little, without much extra effort. It won’t buy me a shiny, new apartment, but it’s helping with the occasional bill, and I certainly appreciate that! Depending on the order size, I’ve averaged about $7-12 dollars per order, and you can do multiple orders at the same time. Different companies have different requirements to be a courier, but with Postmates you can be a walker, a bicyclist, or a driver! Check it out here, click on the link below, and give it a shot if you’d like to make a few dollars and get some exercise at the same time. Plus, you could make money and save it up to invest in Prosper, and then your small earnings turn into more without doing more work! https://fleet.postmates.com/

Unfortunately, my computer battery is now telling me that I have to go…but stay tuned here for more info about my other two ideas as well…Ciao for now and happy reading!

 

Let’s Talk About Prosper

While researching different p2p (peer to peer) lending platforms, I learned that the two most popular and mainstream options are Lending Club and Prosper. They have similar set-ups and goals, but they certainly differ in their requirements to be a lender. They’re both great, it just depends on how much money that you have to start off with. Lending Club requires a starting amount of $1,000.00. That also means that you could start to make a decent monthly return (don’t forget that return includes BOTH principal payment and interest together, not just interest). My financial situation does not allow for me to have a free $1,000.00 hanging around…yet. I’ll get there eventually. Patience is key in the financial improvement world when you have little to start with. In comes Prosper. Honestly, I know more about Prosper than Lending Club simply because I am able to invest with them. Prosper only requires a first deposit of $25 and the minimum to invest in a loan is $25.

 

So yay! You’ve ready to invest your first $25 into a loan! Where do you start? What’s your game-plan going to be? Don’t know yet? Neither did I, and I’m still learning and growing. Bear in mind this one awesome detail: you don’t have to fun an entire loan by yourself (and in my opinion you probably shouldn’t). You can put in as little as $25 per loan. These loans are funded by a large group of investors, not just one, so it’s less risky if you invest in many loans with smaller amounts, than one loan with a larger amount. How do you choose which ones to invest in? It’s tempting when you get on the list of available loans and you see that D grade loan with a 23% interest rate that looks so attractive…soooooo attractive. Then you see the A grade loan next to it that looks…not quite as attractive. You think to yourself: really? 7%? Ugh. But there’s something important about the difference between these two loans and it’s a huge deal when you can’t afford to lose any money. As attractive as that high interest loan might seem…it may not be the best option for you…or it could the be that the A grade loan isn’t right. I’ll tell you why.

 

When Prosper vets’ borrowers they have a multi-step process. Borrowers enter information about their finances including their income, what the loan is for, etc. Prosper also tells the individuals funding the loan valuable information that could sway an investor one way or another. Prosper rates each loan based on historical statistics of loans of its kind. The ratings go from 1-11, with 11 being the more secure loan to invest in, and 1 being the riskiest (according to Prospers algorithm). Personally, I know that people make mistakes just like I have, so I give a little wiggle room when it comes to the grade and I generally accept 7 or higher. I think about it like this: on paper I did not look that great in the past, but I’d not default on paying a private loan to anyone, as I know that people work very hard for their money just like me. Therefore, I know that Prospers number grade may not encompass the entirety of that borrower. Even with their advanced systems they can’t avoid a borrower who may default on their loan who may have a great numbered grade. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Then I look further because I need more info to decide, but Prospers grade is a good starting point. I’ll let that info sink in for now.

I know it’s a whole world of financial possibility that I’ve introduced you to, and we’ll talk about the next steps in my consequent posts. Remember, you can always message me questions and I’ll get back to you asap!

 

P.S. Also, please remember to consult a certified financial advisor when it comes to the big decisions that you need help with. Although I have knowledge in this area, I would not pretend to be an expert. Happy financial improving! 😊Holding-Hundred-Dollar-Bills_4460x4460

Let’s Talk About Finances…

I can hear the collective groan now…do we, as artists really have to think about finances? Well, first of all, we’re still people, too, so the answer is: yup (unfortunately). I know that money and art don’t necessarily go hand in hand (I’m there with ya). I would like to share some information and tips that I have learned in the last year or more to help my fellow artists (and anyone who’d like assistance) to better their lives by improving their financial portfolio. Now, I am not a financial advisor or a guru of some sort, so please get professional help if need be and look at your finances with an advisor. These are simply the musings of an artist trying to get by!

About two years ago I was financially flailing. My credit score was about 1-200 points lower than it is now, and I came to the realization that a low credit score was really harming my ability to pay off a credit card that I’d gotten when I was young (and how that debt got there: that’s another story filled with me having no idea about the repercussions, aka interest, of my actions when I was younger). This debt has followed me around for years. Since I had such a high interest rate that was forcing me to throw money down the toilet every month, I decided that I needed to start working on improving my credit so that I could better my situation gradually. I also knew that I’d be moving out on my own at some point and that my credit would need to be elevated. Ah, being an adult. IT WAS DAUNTING. So…I started researching ways to slowly incorporate better financial strategy in my life.

The first step…is the hardest one: grabbing the bull by the horns and combing through your statements to see where you can begin to curb your spending. For me it’s been my Starbucks habit (I now only go once a week and I’ve cut my spending down from about $200+ to $50-$60 per month, at most). So yay! I get a special date with myself once a week and I get to keep more money, too! I know, it’s painful, but you can do it, as well! Think about it this way: for me that’s about $1,680 in savings per year…that could definitely pay a few monthly bills! What do you do that slowly demolishes your pay? The second step: still pretty daunting, but very liberating once you face it.

The 2nd step is to find out if you’re eligible for a credit card. I recommend applying for a secured credit card if you’re ready because they are designed to help those of us who are re-building our credit health. The way they accomplish this is by only having a very small credit limit (mine with Capital One was $200) so you don’t go overboard with your spending. It’s a great way to practice changing your habits while having a safer system than a regular credit card. There are lots of offers out there, but I recommend using Capital One because it comes with an easy to use set of tracking tools. The app allows you to see exactly how much credit you have and have used. It also informs you about your financial health by consistently showing you your credit score, providing information about the factors effecting your credit, and giving you tips on how to improve your score. By following the steps suggested, you can start to build your confidence in your financial setup. I have come to find out through my own experience how important and beneficial this is. In the last two years I have grown financially and I’ve realized many things, but one of the most important things I came to realize is that it is very expensive to not have money. Having a great credit score means that you will be offered better deals on financial products, especially interest rates. Interest rates are where the bank gets your money. With high interest rates you end up paying the bank more money in the long run because you have a low credit score. With a higher credit score the bank gives you a lower interest rate, and you end up paying less money in the long run than you would have otherwise. Weird, right? It seems backwards, but I hope to inspire you to think outside the box and turn the cycle back in your favor as I am trying to do on my end as well.

These ideas are just scratching the surface and there is more to come. Stay tuned and have a great day!

 

Disclaimer: please do what is best for you financially. My tips and ideas have worked well for me, but each situation is different. For personal advice please go to a financial advisor and find out your options.