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Archive for ◊ February, 2016 ◊

NewStar Business Credit, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewStar Financial, Inc., provided senior secured credit facilities totaling $6,000,000 to Love Quiches, Ltd. (“L Q” or the “Company”).  Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Freeport, NY, L Q is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of a diverse line of natural, trans-fat free, desserts and quiches, which are supplied to restaurants, hotels, airlines and food service distributors. The credit facilities include a revolving line of credit and a ‘senior stretch’ term loan, which will be used to repay certain existing obligations and support the Company’s working capital needs in connection with planned growth.

Andy Axelrod, CEO Love and Quiches, commented on the transaction: “NewStar was the right partner, at the right time for our growing business. They were able to smartly assess our financial needs and put together a package which provided us with the working capital we needed to execute our business plan and further grow our business.”

“We have followed and admired this company for a number of years and are pleased to have the opportunity to provide a financing package tailored to their growth plans,” stated NewStar EVP and National Marketing Manager, Milton Iskra.

The transaction was originated by John Rossi, a Senior Vice President located in NewStar’s Boston office.

NewStar Business Credit provides asset-based and senior, secured “stretch” loans nationally to middle market companies with credit requirements between $5 million and $30 million.  Deal structures are flexible and tailored to meet each client’s unique needs.  Funds can be used for a wide range of purposes, including strategic acquisitions, management buyouts, recapitalizations and refinancings, as well as, to support internal growth strategies.

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CALGARY, AB –(Marketwired – January 30, 2016) – It can sometimes feel like a catch-22. Part of building a strong credit profile is responsibly using your business credit, but obtaining that business credit so you can responsibly use it is sometimes easier said than done — especially for young companies just getting started. As a result, it might be tempting to use your personal credit for business purposes, thinking that will help demonstrate that you know how to properly use credit. Unfortunately, it wont help you build your businesss credit and the higher credit utilization often associated with business expenses can actually negatively impact your personal credit profile.

Although establishing credit can be a challenge in the first year of doing business, and you might not be able to get a loan at the local bank, there is typically credit available to help you establish a strong profile that is relatively easy to get. Vendor credit is a smart way many new businesses establish their credit profile.

Unlike using your personal credit cards to pay for merchandise from your suppliers, establishing credit relationships with vendors and suppliers will help you build your credit profile — provided your vendors report to the appropriate business credit bureaus. Nevertheless, similar to using your personal credit for business purposes, if your vendors and suppliers dont report to the bureaus, you may be building your credit reputation with that particular vendor, but it wont otherwise help your profile.

Peter Bolin, Experian Director of Consulting and Analytics, while talking about a study conducted by Experian earlier this year that looked at startups and young companies said, In our study group, an average Experian business credit score of 23 (on a scale of 1-100) the first year of business, soon improves to somewhere in the 30s, and eventually moved into the 40s. New businesses might equal lower scores, but the average small business owner is creating 1-1/2 trade credit relationships each year and using smaller loans to build their credit profiles over the first few years. Ultimately indicating to us that many of these businesses are great borrowers.

In other words, its not uncommon for a new business to have a thin credit profile, meaning they havent had enough time in business to build a strong profile yet because they dont have many credit accounts. But those businesses that pursue a credit-building strategy of utilizing the credit available from their vendors and other suppliers are able to greatly improve their profiles over time — demonstrating to credit bureaus, like Experian, that they are potentially good borrowers.

Trade credit is probably one of the easiest ways to establish your business credit profile and a great way to build a solid business credit foundation.

Its not likely youll be able to go into the bank and get $100,000 for working capital, says Bolin when referring to these younger companies. Start by establishing trade credit with your vendors. Make sure they report to the credit bureaus, like Experian, and make sure you make your payments on time. Apply for a business credit card and make sure you make those payments on time. This will dramatically increase the depth of your credit report so when you do need that $100,000 from the bank or other lender, youll be likely to get approved. Additionally, dont use your personal credit for business expenses. Take the time to establish a strong business credit profile. Consider it an investment in the future of your business.

A healthy profile doesnt just happen. Taking a strategic approach to building and creating the credit relationships today that will help you down the road is a great way to start off the New Year.

Sharp Shooter Funding is a Canadian based company specializing in structuring and approving cash advances for small to medium-sized businesses. With affordable rates, transparent fees, fixed payment schedules and a fast and simple process that allows 30 second applications and funding within 24 hours, they allow business owners throughout the US and Canada receive the funding they need when they need it. The experts at Sharp Shooter Funding also provide valuable financial advice and give each client the attention necessary to create a personalized solution.

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What to do with your Profit Sharing Payment
Sunday, February 28th, 2016 | Author:

Finding the Right Dealer

Employees of the Big Three may be able to get a discount, even if they have damaged credit. Vehicles on the appropriate dealer’s lots are eligible for a manufacturer’s employee discount to lower the purchase price. But not all dealers can accommodate customers with poor credit.

Thankfully, Auto Credit Express specializes in connecting consumers with damaged credit with dealers that can get them approved. We can help you get the vehicle you need and get your credit back on track if you simply fill out our simple and secure online application. Start today!

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How to Use Dating Rules in Business
Saturday, February 27th, 2016 | Author:

Im not quite sure when it happens, but theres a certain moment in our teenage lives when our minds become clouded with dating rules. 

Maybe some of us cling onto those rules after reading them in a book or seeing someone say them out loud on a TV show.

I remember, years ago,  I was on the phone with a friend when a guy, who made my chest feel like tiny rockets were launching every time his name popped up on the screen, texted me. My friend told me to wait 30 minutes before texting him back.

But he just texted me, right now, and I saw it, I said, thinking it was weird to not reply back to something that made me feel like bouncing jello. Isnt that just rude?

Jenny,she said, and I listened closely because she was in a long term relationship and i was in a long term phase of being always the single one. Its all a game, this love thing, that one must play according to the rules.

Maybe youre right, I said, though I stopped paying full attention after the part she said about the game and instead opened up the text from my crush and wrote back, immediately. 

I was never any good at following rules.

I was sent to the principals office in Pre-K for counting out loud when the teacher told us to count in our heads. I was benched for three games on my middle school softball team when the coach told me not to run home from third base and i did anyway, knowing id probably not make it safely to home base, but life is about the journey, not the final destination… Right?

So when I started dating, I did everything wrong.

Everything the books, the shows, and the friends taught me to do, I forgot. Wait for the guy to ask you for a second date? Not talk about the itchy topics of politics, religion, or exs? Not offer to pay when the bill came? No. I did what I wanted.

Im 27 now. Ive probably been on 342 dates. Maybe not that many. I dont go on dates very often. But when I do go on one, it feels like ive been on a thousand bad ones. Im being dramatic.

Im 27 now and run my own business, full-time. A couple of weeks ago, when I was trying to score a meeting with a fancy person, a friend of mine said this to me:

Stop emailing them.

Im not just emailing, Im calling too.

Jen, she said, and I listened, because I make too many mistakes sometimes. Its just like dating, you have to play hard to get.

No its not, I thought to myself. If anything, starting a business is the opposite of dating. Every rule they teach you in dating you can not do when running a business, or else youll find yourself out a couple thousand dollars and sitting in a pile of useless business cards for a company thats as extinct as the dinosaurs.

Heres what I mean:

1. Dont Say I LOVE you too soon

In newborn relationships, people get all jittery and shy when it comes to saying I Love You. Nobody ever wants to be the first one to spit those words out and nobody wants to be the only one who has those feelings. In business, you need to be madly in love with your idea and your business — or else, when you get a blahh-worthy email at 3:00 am and youre running on zero hours of sleep and your sixth cup of coffee of the day, youll think about shutting down the whole operation. You have to be crazy to fall in love. But that love-drunk crazy is the only reason youll stick around when things get absurdly tough. And they will.

2. Play Hard to Get and Seem Unavailable

Its all about the chase — right? Not in business. When opportunities knock in your inbox or leave you a voicemail, you have to drop everything and wrap your arms around them. That sometimes means canceling plans with friends or giving up a mid-day gym session to sit down for a  last-minute business meeting.

3. Only Put in 30% Effort

This is a dating rule I came across when I was research dating rules for this article — and I find it insanely awful. Apparently, you need to put in little effort at first to keep the other person on their toes. With dating, youre supposed to act nonchalant and blase. This would never work in business. If youre not putting in every inch of effort, time, and heart into what youre doing, it will take you 75 years to get moving with your plan or your sales goals.

4. You Have to Be Monogamous.

Start five businesses at once. Start one yourself and then join in on another one with your friends.

5. Expect Him to Always Pay

No ones going to pick up the tab for your monthly business credit card bills or the legal fees youll tally up along the way.

6. If its Not Love at First Sight, Its Not Worth Your Time

First impressions dont mean a thing in business. Its all about evolving and changing as you go. You dont need to be the best version of yourself when you first launch a business. Your business plan can have holes in it. You can start it without knowing what the heck youre doing. Its all about fixing the mistakes and the errors along the way.

7. Enjoy the Honeymoon Phase

Ive been running a business for two years — I have yet to enjoy more than 5 minutes of free time. I have yet to kick my feet up on the IKEA coffee table and watch as the business functions on its own. My to-do list has a to-do list.

8.  Dont Give the Milk Away for Free

Cause if you do, nobody will buy the milk. When you first start a business, its all about giving out free products and services to people you know and people you dont know. Test out what youre selling to see if it works before you scale or expand it to the masses.

9. Dont Talk About Your Ex-Loves

Always talk about your failures, your ex-businesses, the ones that got away. Itll remind you of what worked and what was an epic mistake.

10. Be Mysterious

Put it all out there. If people read your marketing materials and have no idea what your business is or what youre selling, then youll have zero customers.

11. Keep Your Options Open

Dont. Go all in. Tell yourself that this business is THE business. Put all your eggs in one basket. Risk everything. Theres no other way youll be able to do it — even if in the end it turns out to be a giant failure

12. Avoid Being a Stage Five Clinger

Cling on tight, baby. This is yours and only yours. Tug onto the edges of it like a toddler onto his moms yoga pants.

PS Dont follow these rules in dating either (except the one about being monogamous — cheating is gross). Its a gigantic waste of time. Be your own crazy self. Say how you feel and say how you dont feel. Hug them tightly, if you like them. If that scares them, good. Let them run away like a scaredy cat. Youll soar into the arms of someone whose eyes dont bulge over who you are. I promise you that.

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Americans owed more than $987 billion in outstanding auto loans in the last quarter of 2015, according to the latest report from Experian Automotive. Its the highest amount of outstanding auto loan debt since the company first started publicly reporting the data in 2006.

Auto loans as a whole grew 11.5% from 2014 to 2015, and so did loans to subprime and deep subprime borrowers (ie buyers with bad credit scores). In the fourth quarter of 2014, subprime and deep subprime auto loans made up 20.3% of all open auto loans, increasing year over year to 20.8% in 2015. That could be a good sign for people with low credit scores who need a vehicle. Getting a car loan with bad credit limits some of your options, but its still important to shop around for the best terms. Many common credit scoring models will allow consumers to apply for multiple auto loans within two weeks and count them as a single hard inquiry, to encourage people to search for the best deal.

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It helps to start the process by getting an idea of where your credit stands. The better your credit scores, the more likely you are to get approved and receive favorable loan terms. An auto loan can even help you improve your credit, as long as you consistently make your car payments on time.

[W]hile loan balances continue to rise and funding may be more easily attainable, it is critically important for consumers to stay on top of their monthly payments to keep the automotive market running on all cylinders, said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive finance for Experian, in a news release on the data.

While 30-day delinquencies were down in the final quarter of 2015 from the same time in 2014 (from 2.62% to 2.57% of all loans 30 days past due), 60-day delinquencies were up slightly, from 0.72% to 0.77%. Remember that your payment history has the greatest impact on your credit score, and you can see how your auto loan affects your credit by viewing two of your free credit scores every month on Credit.com.

More on Cars:

  • Are There Car Loans for People With Bad Credit?
  • What to Do If You Can’t Make Your Car Payments
  • Top 5 Worst Car Buying Mistakes

Image: Stockbyte

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DETROIT, Jan. 28 /CSRwire/ – Southwest Solutions, JPMorgan Chase amp; Co. and Mission Asset Fund (MAF) today announced the launch ofLending Circles, a new social loan program that will allow Detroit residents to safely build credit through zero-interest loans. Participants make monthly loan payments and take turns receiving zero-interest social loans, ranging from $300 to $2,500. All loan payments are reported to credit bureaus, enabling participants to build a credit history, raise credit scores and work towards greater financial stability.

MAFs award-winning Lending Circles are a fresh take on social lending, helping participants build credit while increasing assets and improving financial health. The average credit score increase for participants is 168 points.

More than 30% of the people weve assisted with their financial situation in the last two years start with no credit history, and those with credit start with an average credit score of only 547, said Hector Hernandez, executive director of Southwest Economic Solutions. Lending Circles will enable our clients to build and enhance their credit so they can take advantage of opportunities to become homeowners, entrepreneurs and college graduates.

Bringing Lending Circles to Detroit is the next step in JPMorgan Chases $ 100 million commitment to Detroits economic recovery. JPMorgan Chase recentlyawarded MAF a $1.5 million, three-year grantto expand Lending Circles to even more communities across the country and develop new technology to connect clients with on-demand loan information. Southwest Solutions is part of a growing network of 53 Lending Circles providers and the first in the state of Michigan.

We are proud to partner with Southwest Solutions and Mission Asset Fund to expand Lending Circles to Detroit, said Colleen Briggs, Program Officer, Financial Capability Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. Building a solid credit score is the critical first step to managing daily financial lives and accessing affordable capital to achieve long-term financial goals, such as purchasing a home or starting a business.

Of the 27 zip codes in the City of Detroit, the median credit score among residents is below 600 in all but one, according to Urban Institute tabulations of credit bureau data. Furthermore, a 2015 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that one in four Detroit households are underbanked. Without sufficient access to checking or savings accounts, Detroit residents often turn to payday lenders and check cashers to meet their basic financial needs.

Without credit scores, there are no lsquo;good options when you want to start a business or get a small loan, said Jose A. Quinonez, CEO, MAF. Now, with the support of JPMorgan Chase and partners like Southwest Solutions, we are working together to provide innovative solutions to help Detroit residents succeed.

About Southwest Solutions

For more than 40 years, Southwest Solutions has pursued its mission to help build a stronger and healthier community in southwest Detroit and beyond. The nonprofit organization provides more 50 programs and partnerships in the areas of human development, economic development and resident engagement. These three areas together form a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization effort that helps more than 20,000 a year. For more information, please visitwww.swsol.org.

About JPMorgan Chase amp; Co.

JPMorgan Chase amp; Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase amp; Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the worlds most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its JP Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase amp; Co. is available atwww.jpmorganchase.com.

About Mission Asset Fund

Mission Asset Fund(MAF) is a San Francisco-based nonprofit dedicated to helping financially excluded communities namely, low-income and immigrant families gain access to mainstream financial services. Learn more atmissionassetfund.organdlendingcircles.org.

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Cities With Lowest, Highest Credit Scores
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 | Author:

Borrowers in the city with the highest credit scores pay interest rates on mortgages that are 29 basis points less than borrowers in the city with the lowest scores.

The highest average credit scores of any metropolitan statistical area last year was 673. That was in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California, MSA.

The No. 2 MSA, which also had an average credit score of 673, was the
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California, MSA. The area includes Silicon Valley.

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Column: How Do Credit Scores Affect Home Buyers?
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 | Author:

By Frank J. Gaudio
Business Contributor

Now more than ever, with interest rates so low, home buyers are looking to purchase new homes, making it vital for them to understand what their credit score means before they fill out applications. It can be an easy process if applicants are prepared in advance. 

According to a national consumer survey, nearly 75 percent of new homebuyers feel that it is important to check their credit scores before buying a home; however, less than 45 percent actually understand what it is that a credit score reports. A personal credit score accesses not only the amount of debt a client owes and whether they are current with their payments, but also the risk they present to the lender if they default. This means that even if you are paying on time now, any late payment history can still have an effect on your FICO score.

We find that a majority of homebuyers are unable to identify the factors that a credit score will affect. Credit scores impact a variety of factors, including interest rate, amount borrowed, and the lending terms of their mortgage. Clients might make the mistake of checking their credit scores only several months before buying a home and often check the wrong model. We suggest that anyone interested in checking their credit scores use www.MyFico.com. For a nominal fee, you may purchase a credit report without impacting your credit score.   

We remind clients to check their credit scores as soon as they are considering a new home purchase. Being proactive allows ample time to improve scores or correct any issues that might negatively affect scores. We often refer clients to Tracy Becker, president of North Shore Advisory, who will work to help improve credit history and credit scores and help the buyer obtain the lowest rates possible given their individual circumstances. She is an expert who will also offer tips on how to manage and maintain that coveted high score. For information, contact tracy@northshoreadvisory.com.

Frank J. Gaudio, president and chief executive officer of The First Bank of Greenwich in Cos Cob, may be reached at: Frank@GreenwichFirst.com.

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While 16 percent of all Bankrate survey respondents said they cant qualify for a mortgage because of their poor credit, that rose to 20 percent among people between the ages of 30 and 64, suggesting that the long shadow of foreclosures is still lingering over many Americans finances. As the seven-year period during which foreclosures (and most other negative activity) stays on a credit report comes to an end, the housing market could improve further, Ponder suggested, although she said it wouldnt likely to be a single, significant turnaround.

Read More: As Home Ownership Lags, Young Renters Left Behind in Wealth-Building

I dont think well see the floodgates open up, but I think people will start trickling in as the foreclosures come off their credit, she said.

Another big stumbling block, especially for poor Americans, is saving up enough for a down payment, Bankrate found that among the more than 2,000 respondents to Bankrates survey, nearly three in 10 across all age brackets who dont currently own a home say they cant afford a down payment, and these percentages are higher among respondents who earn less than $30,000 a year or dont have a college degree.

And even Americans with college degrees could be reluctant to enter the housing market.

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How to Boost Your Credit Score
Monday, February 22nd, 2016 | Author:

It is still relatively early in the New Year. How are you doing on your financial resolutions?

If one of them was to save money, improving your FICO credit score would be a solid long-term strategy to make that resolution stick.

How can a good credit save you money? A low credit score could result in paying higher interest rates on credit cards and utility deposits customers with high credit scores do not have to pay. A NerdWallet study found that drivers with a poor credit score could be paying more than twice as much for car insurance as drivers with better credit. The Consumer Federation of America also notes that home insurers in some states may use credit scores to help gauge the risk level of a potential customer and to accurately price that risk in their premium.

A FICO score between 800 to 850 puts you among the credit elite. A score of 620 puts you at risk of being considered to have bad credit. Here are a few ways to give your credit score a boost.

A good place to start is to review your credit reports to make sure there arent any errors that could negatively impact your credit score. You are entitled to a free credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the major credit reporting agencies whose information is used to calculate your credit scores.

Another way to lower your credit score is to pay your bills on time. Just one skipped payment can drop a credit score by 100 points,

Anyone looking to raise their credit score should keep the phrase credit utilization in mind. This is the amount of your credit card balance you use in relation to your credit card limit. Which is why experts recommend paying down credit card debt as a way to boost a floundering credit score. Balances should be kept to no more than 30 percent of your credit limit, according to NerdWallet. Asking an issuer to raise your credit limit on your current credit card could help put you under that target figure.

It might sound counterintuitive, but another way to raise your credit score is to open a new credit card account. Again, this is where credit utilization can be your friendhellip;as long as you use your new card responsibly.

In paying off credit card debt, Forbes recommends not closing the account, but instead keeping it open while cutting up the plastic, but not before selecting a monthly bill that can be paid with that credit card and setting up automatic payment. Then, set up full automatic payment of that credit card bill, This ensures you have monthly activity on your credit report without access to the actual credit card.

Before you can improve your credit score, it helps to know what it is. A significant majority of affluent investors (77 percent) are aware of their credit score, while an even higher percentage (81 percent) is not worried about its impact on their ability to borrow, according to Spectrem Group research. As such, the highest percentage (31 percent) check their credit score only occasionally, while 28 percent review it annually.

Your turn: Have you boosted your credit score? Share your successful strategies in the comments section.

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