The Bizarre Resurgence of Banks

In these uncertain economic times, it’s hard to find the right bank. Not the kind to keep your bills, but the kind to keep your coins. Collecting change can be a small and effective way to save some extra money over time. Often, a container filled with pennies, nickels and dimes can add up to hundreds of dollars over a couple years. That being the case, here’s a few innovative piggy banks from the Far East that can make saving change not only a worthwhile venture – but also a strange and surreal experience.

The Banpresto Facebank is as simple as its name. It’s a triangular bank with a small face in the center – featuring eyes, nose and mouth. But this gadget puts truth in the term “feeding the piggy bank”. When an individual waves a coin in front of the face, the eyes (equipped with sensors) see the delicious money and the mouth of the bank opens – allowing the user to slide the coin inside. Along with helping a person to save money, the Facebank is also enjoyably freaky looking (think the book of the dead from “Evil Dead 2” mixed with Belial from “Basket Case”). The Banpresto Facebank can hold up to 30 quarter-size coins, runs on four AAA batteries and is available in blue, red or white.

Another novel bank provides solutions to two common slacker problems in one convenient package. While the Dreams Money-Saving BanClock looks like a simple plastic cube, it is actually a tortuous device that forces people to get out of bed and save money – simultaneously! A user sets the alarm and, when it goes off, the only way to stop it is to insert a coin. This means, unless a person keeps a pile of change next to the bed, it’s impossible to snooze all morning long. By feeding the BanClock a quarter each morning, a person can save $25 before the bank is full. Perfect for parents of college graduates living at home while they “get on their feet”, the Dreams BanClock is available in five different colors (white, red, yellow, blue and black).

Remember those digital pets that were all the rage about ten years ago? They would start out as babies and then grow and evolve. Well, there’s a bank along those lines called the Bank of Life (Takaratomy Jinsei Ginkou). The bank features a LCD display on the front with a digital person representing the bank owner (you). The person starts out living the life of a poor man (when there’s no money in the bank) in a small apartment with flies everywhere. As change is collected and the bank fills up, the character can go on dates, get new clothes, and upgrade apartments – eventually living “a life of contentment” (if such a thing exists). And, when that happens, the user may actually even have a little money saved up to get a life of his or her own and stop staring at a bank.


Unsecured Personal Loans With Bad Credit: Two Options Available to You

Most people are aware that when it comes to borrower risk, unsecured personal loans are your best option since they do not require collateral. However, unsecured personal loans are also the hardest kind of loan to find, especially if you have bad credit.

Unsecured personal loans are the type of loan that traditional lending houses, such as banks and even local credit unions, do not give lightly. In order to qualify for this type of loan, your credit needs to be near-perfect. Therefore, those with bad credit will need to look for an alternative means for acquiring an unsecured personal loan. With bad credit, your best option is to look towards private lenders, and there are two options to go to from there.

Option 1: Personal Relationships

Depending on the amount of money that you need and the means of those you know, using personal relationships in order to secure a loan may be your best bet. With bad credit, going to any kind of lender will require a credit check. However, receiving a personal loan from a close friend or family member will not. Therefore, this should be the first option that you pursue in your search for an unsecured personal loan with bad credit.

There are some caveats to this approach, however. First, you need to know someone with the kind of money that you seek. Second, you need to have a good enough relationship with this person to ask for money (which can be a big deal). Third, you need to understand that failure to repay your loan could end your relationship permanently. Be absolutely certain that you have all your financial ducks in a row before looking towards a personal contact for a personal loan.

Option 2: Online Lenders

In the case when getting a personal loan through a family member or close friend is not possible, there are still other means available to you. The principle source of those means is the internet. Online lenders who specialize in bad credit loans are the best place to begin searching for a personal loan with bad credit.

The process that you go through to secure an online personal loan is the same as you will in any other lending situation. That is, you need to contact several different lenders and get quotes from them all in order to find the best deal. You will also need to give each lender your personal information so that they can determine your eligibility for the personal loan. This information includes:

  • Full name and social security number (for credit checking purposes)
  • Proof of residence/citizenship
  • Income history (to establish your ability to repay your loan)
  • Bank account information (so that you can receive the money)

It is a good idea to gather all of this information and have it handy before you contact any online lenders in regards to your loan. Then, when you do make contact, the process will go much more smoothly.

Do the Homework First

Like all online businesses, some are legitimate and others are not. Therefore, in addition to contacting all possible lenders, you will also need to perform a background check on each of them to establish their history of service and other details. A good place to begin this search is the Better Business Bureau’s website. This will give each lender you choose a ranking from A-F as well as user comments to let you know about past experiences. Never use a lender (or any business for that matter) whose grade is below a “B.”

Get a Personal Loan with Bad Credit

If you want to find an unsecured personal loan with bad credit, there are two major options available to you. Make sure that you look thoroughly into each option and that you are prepared to make the payments on your new loan before you sign any papers.


What Is a Real Estate Assessment?

Real estate is an industry where terms play important roles, especially for investors who want to generate more money. This is one of the reasons why there are a lot of people who are saying that getting a real estate agent or a realtor is very important. The problem with some people is that they are not into the idea of getting someone who will be working for them in exchange of money, and this is also the reason why they are not aware of the terms that are commonly used in the realty industry.

Real Estate Assessment

When we say that a person should assess a property, it means that they need to check it in order to determine its value. This is a common practice, especially for buyers, because they want to determine the amount that they will be offering whenever they are interested to buy the property. This is also a way for buyers to place their offers, and this is where the negotiation will start

Lenders also do this process on a regular basis, because this will help them avoid fraud transactions. When you take a loan, the lender will be asking you for the amount that you want to take, but it doesn’t mean that they will be giving it to you immediately. They will be sending a person who will be assessing the property to have a third look at it. This will help them determine whether that will be lending an amount that is worth the property that a person will be purchasing.

Why Do You Need It

There are people who think that a real estate assessment is very important, which is also true. However, it is not as important as what other people think. For them an assessment is the definite value of the property, but this is only an estimated value. This will serve as your outline for making your offers, and this will be the basis for all the negotiations that you will make when buying a property. This is where everything will start, but it should not be treated as the only amount that you need to spend for the property.

More than an estimate, a real estate assessment is an outline of its value. It is not something that will help you determine that outcome of your negotiation. If you want to learn more about the things that you need to know about real estate assessment, then it would be better if you are going to get a real estate agent or a realtor who can provide you with better tips and advices. They can also provide you with a more personal approach when it comes to investing in the realty market.


Encountering Different Tax Problems

Tax time is an overwhelming and anxious time for many Americans. Preparing and filing your own personal income taxes can be a frustrating process. You will get confused reading rules and trying to decide which schedule you need from the vast array of IRS forms and references. It gets desperate when your backup documentation goes missing, or important receipts you stored are no longer readable. You deserve to receive the maximum possible refund, and not have to pay any more taxes to the IRS.

Many self-preparers get nervous filing their own returns because they know their skills fall far short of a tax professional; yet, they try to do it themselves, hoping their calculations will yield a large refund.

You might consider hiring the professional services of an accountant. It may cost some money; but, it is usually worth it because they are familiar with tax laws, and have a great potential for saving you money. Hiring them to do your taxes could be a smart move and is definitely worth consideration.

What are some common tax problems that taxpayers run into?

Most people come across inaccurate or incomplete data on a form that needs to accompany their income tax returns. This is why it is so important to fill out your employer’s paperwork completely, including the IRS form W-4, before starting a new job. This way you can let your employer know how much you want withheld from your paycheck for federal income taxes. Make sure you have enough deducted every week for federal withholding, or you might have to pay more tax at year end. Make sure to check the appropriate box on the W-4 that signifies your marital status, so that you can calculate your taxes from the correct table.

You can avoid problems with the IRS by keeping your payroll stubs in a secure place, where they can be easily retrieved so you can refer to them later, if you need to. As your tax situation can change from year to year, it’s important that you have a current W-4 on file in your employer’s payroll department. It’s a smart move to fill out the worksheet any time your pay rate changes to make sure you are having enough tax withheld from your check.

The IRS has true and time-tested ways of collecting delinquent taxes, and one of the more effective is called a lien. Liens can be placed on any item of personal property, like a home or business, to secure an unpaid debt and attach the amount owed onto the property’s title. A levy, on the other hand, is an action by the government to force you to pay your overdue tax. When the IRS slaps you with a levy, they are authorized to take the funds right out of your checking or savings accounts, or even your 401(k) plan.

Besides liens and levies, the IRS has other methods they can use to collect tax from you. They can seize your personal property, garnish your wages, audit your bank accounts or any prior year tax returns. These measures can drastically deplete your bank account and have an adverse effect on the rest of your financial life.

For example, the next time you submit an application for credit, your credit history will reflect the levy or lien’s black mark, and your application will be denied. A similar process will occur when you try to buy a car today and pay tomorrow. Before any auto dealer will agree to sell you a car on credit, he is going to make sure you are in a sound enough financial position to pay him back.

Once you have a poor rating on your credit report because of a government wage garnishment, lien, seizure or levy, you might as well plan on paying for everything you buy with cash until the debt is paid and the encumbrance removed.