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Archive for ◊ June, 2016 ◊

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Everest Amaefule, Abuja

Refinancing 30 per cent (N2.56tn) of Nigeria’s total domestic debt of N8.4tn in the next one year poses a high risk to the economy, the Debt Management Office has said.

The DMO in a document entitled: ‘Nigeria’s Debt Management Strategy, 2016-2019’, obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, stated that at least 30 per cent of the nation’s domestic debt would fall due within the one-year period.

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WOODLAND HILLS, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 28, 2016) – If youre struggling to make any real progress on paying off your mounting credit card debt, you arent getting any help from Uncle Sam these days.

Credit card interest rates have risen since the Federal Reserve hiked its target rate in December 2015, especially for people with worse credit, Vantage Acceptance announced, citing a recent CardHub study.

In the first quarter of 2016, credit card interest rates for people with fair credit, the lowest of three categories, averaged 20.97 percent, up 6.72 percent from a year earlier. By contrast, rates for people with excellent credit averaged 13.02 percent, up just 0.46 percent, while rates for good credit consumers averaged 17.92 percent, up 1.93 percent.

Fed officials in December had predicted they would raise rates four times over the course of 2016, based on their expectation that the US economy would grow by 2.4 percent. But on March 16, they announced there likely would be only two rate increases, citing falling oil prices, stock market uncertainty and recessionary fears that had prompted them to scale back their growth projection to 2.2 percent.

Still, those two rate hikes later this year will drive up credit card rates even further, which will make paying off your credit cards that much harder. Vantage Acceptance can help. Our highly trained credit specialists will work with your creditors to accept a debt settlement. In exchange for receiving a lump sum payment, they often will agree to accept considerably less than the full amount you owe.

Why would your creditors be willing to accept less? Because they know thats better than the alternative: You filing bankruptcy and giving them nothing.

Bankruptcy, of course, is a less preferable option for you as well. It causes more damage to your credit record, depending on the type that you file, restricts your cash flow and causes you to lose prized possessions, again, depending on whether you file Chapter 7 or 13.

Call Vantage Acceptance at 800-829-7700 today and let our advisors get you started on debt settlement.

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The African Development Bank Group is hosting the 7th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders Forum on May 30-31, 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia, on the heels of the Banks 2016 Annual Meetings.

More than 100 delegates are attending the forum. The Banks delegation, comprising colleagues from various departments, is led by Charles Boamah, Vice-President, Finance.

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Is there a catch with free credit scores?
Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 | Author:
Ti_ser

Q. What’s the catch with those companies that offer free credit scores?
— Curious

A. You’re right to wonder because like they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Every consumer has multiple credit scores.

The industry leader is the FICO score. Then there’s Vantage Score, a competitor to FICO. These are the two main scores lenders will look at before offering you credit.

When you purchase your credit score from the credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax or TransUnion — you’re getting that bureau’s version of your FICO score.

Your score will be different with each because each of the bureaus has different information about you in their credit reports. That’s because lenders are not required to report to all three bureaus, so your scores may be based on different information.

So even if all the information is accurate, the scores will still vary slightly.

These credit scores aren’t free. You can buy them, or get them “free” when you sign up forcredit monitoring or other services from the credit bureaus.

Then there are the free ones that are offered by a host of credit web sites.

These sites have created their own versions of credit scores. In most cases, they’re close to the ones you’d get from the credit bureaus, but they’re not exactly the same. That’s because they use different scoring models.

In most cases, though, the free ones will be close to your actual scores. Just not exact.

So is there a catch with free credit scores? Not really — as long as you understand they’re not necessarily the scores lenders will view.

You can get your credit reports for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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Avoid these 5 personal finance mistakes
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 | Author:

It goes without saying that money is of utmost importance and if not dealt with in the right way, it could land you in an in some serious financial and personal stress. What you are today is the result of all the financial decisions you have taken in the past. Any decision can make it or break it for you. The good news is that you can prevent committing these mistakes.

Here are some common personal finance mistakes that people commit. Although they may appear harmless at first, they will take a toll on your quality of life eventually. So here’s what you need to stop doing

Image : shutterstock

  1. Meeting debts with savings

Withdrawing money is easier than depositing it. It is easy kill your savings to pay off your debt, but rebuilding and replacing that amount is a mammoth task. You might not feel it now, but a few years down the line, you will be sorry and agree with us.

The best approach is to automate your payments. This teaches you not just to save more, but also to live on less money. Spending your savings early in life could financially impair you in the future. Automating debt payments from your paycheck helps keep your debt in control without eroding your savings.

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Kathmandu, June 3

After putting the issue of establishing Public Debt Management Division on backburner for some time, Ministry of Finance (MoF) has once again geared up to open the unit.

“We have decided to revise the organisation and management (Oamp;M) survey required to set up the unit and establish the division within September,” Krishna Prasad Devkota, head of the Economic Policy Analysis Division at the MoF told The Himalayan Times.

In January, the MoF had conducted Oamp;M survey to establish the new division and decided to depute a joint secretary to head the unit. But, so far, the Oamp;M survey has not been endorsed by the MoF.

Earlier, an MoF official had told THT that MoF had started rethinking on its previous decision to set up the division because ‘the size of country’s debt is comparatively small’ and MoF ‘didn’t want to establish the unit just for sake of it’.

“We are now planning to expedite the process of setting up the unit,” Devkota said.

In order to set up the unit, the MoF has already initiated the process of acquiring the software required for the office.

“We are now in the process of evaluating technical bid proposals submitted by four companies. Once this process is complete, we will evaluate the financial proposals submitted by those firms. We will then hand over the contract to design the software to the qualified bidder,” Devkota said, adding, “We hope to receive the tailor-made software from the contractor within November.”

Also, the MoF is planning to float tender notice to purchase the IT hardware required for the division within August. The government had floated the idea of setting up a debt management unit as early as August 2012 to consolidate debt management works scattered across MoF, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO).

Currently, NRB raises domestic debt and maintains its data, while the International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division (IECCD) at the MoF deals with foreign loans. The FCGO, on the other hand, asks for data on domestic and foreign loans from the two institutions and compiles them.

After establishment of the new unit, the IECCD’s responsibility of mobilising foreign loans will be handed over to the Public Debt Management Division, while the FCGO will transfer its task of compiling data on the country’s debt to the unit.

Also, the new division will conduct studies prior to borrowing money from the market, diversify tools to raise debt and lay suggestions on use of different debt-raising tools on different occasions. It would also deal with international agencies and institutions to obtain foreign loans.

Besides, MoF is mulling over handing over NRB’s responsibility of raising domestic debt to the new division. The government has been raising debt since fiscal 1961-62 to finance budget deficit. In that year, it raised debt of Rs 8.2 million, of which Rs seven million was raised from domestic sources, while Rs 1.2 million was raised from foreign sources.

Since then the government’s debt volume has surged, yet it is still below 30 per cent of the gross domestic product, which means the country still has ample space to acquire loans to pursue development goals.

In this regard, the new debt management division will provide recommendations to the government on how, when and from where to borrow the money to support deficit financing.

A version of this article appears in print on June 04, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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After a significant period of belt tightening following the Great Recession, Americans have once again amassed a worrisome amount of debt. Eighty percent of Americans are in debt, with 39 percent in credit card debt, according to a July 2015 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The average US credit card holder owes $7,789 in unpaid credit card debt, according to a March 2016 study from CardHub.com. The study also showed that Americans amassed $71 billion in credit card debt in 2015 alone. US financial consumers are falling into toxic debt in other key areas, as well. According to the New York Federal Reserve, total auto loan and student loans stand above $1 trillion.

Debt-straddled consumers looking for a way out have several paths to debt reduction; two of the most common personal debt management strategies are debt consolidation and debt restructuring. Although these two strategies both aim to ease consumer debt burdens, their executions are distinctly different. Learn the details of debt consolidation and debt restructuring to understand how each can be an effective tool for Americans fighting debt problems — and when it’s best to use one over the other.

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Sri Lanka to streamline debt management
Sunday, June 26th, 2016 | Author:

Sri Lanka is to streamline and strengthen its debt management amidst rising debt totalling Rs.7.18 trillion (US$55.19 billion) at the end of March this year, official sources disclosed.  According to Finance Ministry officials, the government will borrow up to Rs.519.9 billion ($3.5 billion) from foreign sources via syndicated loans, sovereign bonds and sukuk (Islamic) bonds […]

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Business Credit Scores 101
Sunday, June 26th, 2016 | Author:

Are you a small business? Do you know your business’s credit score? The range is zero to 100 for most credit reporting agencies, with at least 75 being desirable if you want to be approved for financing and trade credit (business loan or line of credit), says a report at nav.com and from Gerri Detweiler’s new book, Finance Your Own Business.

What determines credit score of a business?

  • Size of business
  • Payment history
  • Outstanding debts
  • Credit history length
  • Credit utilization ratio
  • Industry risk
  • Public records (which the credit agencies are always inspecting)

The credit score of your business may be different among the different credit reporting bureaus. The nav.com article summarizes the three most common bureaus below.

Dun amp; Bradstreet PAYDEX (zero to 100)

  • Based on the total number of payment experiences in D amp; B’s file, this is a dollar weighted indicator of the company’s payment performance.
  • Vendors and suppliers favor the PAYDEX.

Intelliscore PlusSM from Experian (zero to 100)

  • This credit risk score is statistically based and predicts the likelihood of payment delinquency in the subsequent 12 months.
  • This score incorporates multiple factors and is quite reliable.

FICO® LiquidCredit® Small Business Scoring Service? (zero to 300)

  • The SBSS rates applicants by their odds of making payment deadlines.
  • The SBSS score is used for credit line and loan applications (up to 350K from the Small Business Administration).
  • 140 is the minimum score to pass the Small Business Administration’s pre-screen process.

Using Business Credit Scores

  • Lenders want to know how well your company pays debts. They won’t want to lend to you if your credit score is low.
  • When is the last time that you reviewed your business’s financial information? This should be done on a recurring basis.
  • Credit scores fluctuate and are not immune to calculation error. Contact the credit agency if you spot an error or it seems that your score is lower than it should be.

Improving the Credit Score

  • Companies can raise their score by avoiding late payments, among other actions. Improving the score won’t happen overnight.
  • Credit utilization should be about 25 percent.
  • Open several credit accounts.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.

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Germany’s finance minister has ruled out Britain having access to the European single market in the event of Brexit, directly contradicting the reassurances of Boris Johnson and the Leave campaign. 

In an interview in a special edition of German weekly Der Spiegel, Wolfgang Schäuble said that leaving the EU but staying in the single market would not work for the UK, saying: “In is in. Out is out.”

Some non-EU countries, most notably Norway, do have access to the single market, but must as a consequence allow freedom of movement for EU citizens. The Leave campaign has put controlling EU migration at the centre of its campaign, but also argued that Britain could still have access to the single market. Mr Schäuble’s comments appear to pour cold water on the prospects of any such compromise. 

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