How Crowdfunding Can Help Pay Medical Bills

Crowdfunding can help pay for medical bills… it really is that simple. You can crowdfund for just about anything, including medical bills. Many times people are placed in a medical crisis and aren’t sure where to turn. Medical bills can accumulate in no time and medical bankruptcy is a real thing. You’d be amazed by … Continue reading “How Crowdfunding Can Help Pay Medical Bills”

Crowdfunding can help pay for medical bills… it really is that simple. You can crowdfund for just about anything, including medical bills. Many times people are placed in a medical crisis and aren’t sure where to turn. Medical bills can accumulate in no time and medical bankruptcy is a real thing. You’d be amazed by how many people in “your own crowd” are willing to help.

In a study published in January 2014 from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), one in four families experienced financial burdens of medical care.

This “financial burden” of medical care equates to medical bills that they can’t currently pay and are forced to pay monthly over time.

This study goes on to share that families with lower incomes were more likely to experience the financial burdens of medical care. Those families with incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty level had the highest levels of any financial burden of medical care.

250% of the federal poverty level (based on guidelines for 2013) means that a family of four with an annual income of $58,875 or lower were at the highest level of the population feeling the financial burden of medical care for a loved one. That’s our middle class America. Those are the families living paycheck to paycheck and not prepared for a medical crisis.

The is a baby with his eyes closed and an oxygen canula in his nose. He was born with a bad heart, a weak immune system, and problems eating which caused a condition labeled by doctors as “failure to thrive”. Isaac spent the first year of his life in and out of hospitals in Las Vegas and at Stanford where he underwent multiple heart catheterizations and procedures, open heart surgeries, and had a feeding tube placed surgically to ensure he received the proper amount of nutrients. Isaac’s family had great insurance, covering 80% of all medical costs. But, they still spent over $100,000 out-of-pocket the first year of his life in deductibles and medical related expenses.

Shocking… right?

I know… My name is Kathy, and I’m Isaac’s mom.

I remember people asking us if they could have fundraisers for us, give us money… they would offer to do anything just to help. At that time, I could not have imagined the costs that we would incur, nor could I imagine all the things that insurance doesn’t cover. You assume that you pay for insurance, you’ll have a deductible… The End.

If that were only so.

Words of Advice:

Start a Crowdfunding Campaign Immediately

Don’t be too humble to let other people offer to help you. You really can’t imagine the costs of things in the medical world and how they add up. It is TOO hard to think about money when you’re talking about the healthcare of someone you love. You want anything and everything done… you’ll worry about the bills later.

From a Mom that’s Been There

Don’t expect the people in the middle of a medical crisis to be thinking clearly (well, I sure wasn’t). If you’re related to the family or just a loving friend… talk to them about the medical bills and the reality of the situation. Talk with them about what they need now and what their needs may be in the future and help them come up with a budget and plan to get everything their loved one needs. From bills, equipment, therapy sessions… even therapy dogs, all these things can be a necessity now or in the future.

How exactly will crowdfunding help pay my medical bills?

Well, they can’t send a check to the hospital for you, but they can offer you a platform that will help you tell your story as well as share it with your friends and family. The right crowdfunding platform will provide support for you all along the way, from guidance writing your story, picking pictures to post, sharing on the social media channels, and even help writing press releases to get national exposure.

Crowdfunding can help you pay for your medical bills by allowing YOU to take care of your family and letting your “crowd” help YOU. Donations will be made by people you have inspired and want to help you. These people will have a platform to donate to you on their schedule and an amount that is within their means. They will be assured that the funds are going directly to YOU and not an anonymous organization.

You are not alone in your medical crisis. Crowdfunding is a viable source for helping to pay for medical bills and other medical related necessities.

High Rate Loans – Pros and Cons

If you do not know the term “Pay Day” or its variations, consider yourself lucky. At least financially.

The term “Pay Day” is a euphemism. Let us first define it for what it really is.

Payday lending is a form of short-term lending without collateral to people with little or no liquidity, or a bad credit rating. Pay Day is a generic term. Companies in this form of lending go by other names, such as Cash and Go, Advance Pay, Loan Up and Cash Carry. Sometimes these are also called Accommodation Loans or Instant Cash.

Whatever the name, here is a statistic to show how prevalent they have become in a few short years (probably last ten years) in the US. There are some 22,000 companies in Pay Day business, making $40 billion in loans and collecting $6 billion in interest and fees. This number may already be dated, since more companies are coming on line.

REASON FOR PAY DAY POPULARITY

Here are the reasons:

As a business model, it is proven to be resilient and profitable. Diverse portfolio, small exposure, short term nature of the loan and catering to a sector few traditional lenders touch.
With Americans’ incomes not keeping pace with inflation, and increasing illegal immigration, there is growing need for Payday type loans as more and more people live from paycheck to paycheck.
While there is State level regulation on Payday practices, this form of lending is highly unregulated and as yet unchecked in any real form by Federal government. And State supervision is spotty. So no wonder new Payday type lenders are cropping up all over.
Because of small loans and not much oversight, entry barriers are low.

PROS AND CONS

Pros:

Easy terms, no collateral
Negative credit history is not an obstacle
Very local
Caters to a segment of population which has no other alternatives to cover their expenditures or budgets

Cons:

Very high rates of interest (although many States have Usury laws, so Payday lenders skirt it by calling these “fees” or “service charges”
Addictive. Since money is easily available, there is less incentive to save and forgo certain expenditures
Does not improve borrower’s credit history–whereas getting credit from a traditional source, even a store, and paying it down regularly will actually improve your credit rating and open up other doors to borrowing

WAYS TO AVOID PAYDAY

Get in the habit of budgeting your income and expenses and do it conservatively. This will help you manage your cash flow and enable you to predict it—that way you can find ways to either boost your income or reduce expenses. It also will help you to prioritize your expenses
Diligently note down your expenses
Try to put internal limits on when to use a credit card. I advised someone to not use a credit card for single-shop charges below $25. It is amazing how quickly she realized money was flowing through her hands. She never appreciated this when flashing credit cards, and making minimum payments.
Pay off all or most of credit card balance each month. Credit card companies are only a slightly softer version of Payday lenders.
I prefer loan from a friend or from family although I realize it is not always possible
Treat Payday as the absolute last resort, before bankruptcy. That will help you strengthen your resolve to avoid them as long as possible
Get Credit Counseling. Like someone who wants to lose weight must seek professional help, if you are unable to balance your checkbook, you need to see a professional financial advisor.
See if you have an asset that can be monetized. It may be jewelry you do not use or a house bigger than you can afford. This is the absolute first step to repairing your financial health.

10 Tips to a Better Forex Trading Strategy

Over the past decade,Forex trading has grown rapidly thanks to its expansion on the internet. What was once considered a side trading strategy by those who delved in stocks is now open to millions of people who can trade on a daily basis.

The low initial cost and promise of quick results have certainly lured people of many different backgrounds and experiences into this form of trading. However, as many find out it is not as simple as they may have heard or have been promised. This is because proper Forex trading strategy is not based in short term gain, but in long term results which may run counter to the expectations of those who believe they will make quick cash.

The following are ten solid tips into creating the proper Forex trading strategy that will help deliver the results:-

Forex Trading is a Long Term Wealth Building Tool:

For those who are new to this form of trading, this is not a “get rich quick” scheme. In fact, effective Forex trading strategy is based on risking a little bit of money each day and not trying to “win big” off of a few trades. The weighing of the risk and reward is very important to employing the best strategy that will result in getting good trades. In other words, do not risk more than you can afford to lose.

Trade from Logic, Not Emotion:

A “good feeling” or “gut instinct” is exactly that, an emotion-based response that actually has no bearing on whether a trade will turn out good or not. Those that excel at Forex trading strategy base it on research, current events and trends while leaving their emotions out of the equation. The good feeling is simply not enough to risk any money on a trade without the proper research and backing.

Use Limited Leverage:

The ability to trade on margins is one of the most attractive features in Forex trading strategy. In fact, many Forex trades are accomplished with a high degree of leverage which means that only a small amount of money is actually put up front. However, if the trade goes badly then you will owe more than what was initially placed up to your entire investment depending on the margins. This means that careful management of the margins is in order, so limit the amount of leverage used on your trades.

Carefully Consider All Decisions:

Despite all the planning, there are a lot of random events that may occur which will create results that you may not expect. However, this does not mean that you should make decisions too quickly or not consider all the possibilities. Too many traders will simply go by their gut feeling and not do the proper research in order to get the best results. For example, it is always a good strategy to have a “stop losses” order in place just in case the trade goes against expectations.

Understand the Market:

It pays to know how the market in general reacts on a day to day basis. While some might say that “history never repeats”, it is helpful to understand the conditions which created favorable trades on your behalf. Good Forex trading strategy includes a good understanding of the market itself and how it reacts to daily events.

Always Use Stop Losses:

Stop losses exist because one of the worst traits that many Forex traders develop is the belief system that things will turn around for a trade no matter how bad the losses. By putting in a stop losses order, a trade that goes horribly wrong will only cost a small amount of the investment because it was stopped at a pre-set amount.

Keep a Checklist:

It always seems to be the little things that matter when it comes to successful Forex trading. When creating a winning strategy, develop a checklist that you can mark off once each step is accomplished. In that manner, you can better follow your strategies for creating the best trade possible.

A proper checklist should include the following:

Time of Day
Technical Indicators Used in the Trade
Buy or Sell Signals that have been Noticed
Risk/Reward Value
Daily Stop Limit

Be Methodical and Disciplined:

Once you have developed a disciplined Forex trading strategy that works, stick to it. A well tested plan will pay off more often than not which means that you can increase your overall success rate. The secret behind creating a healthy income stream with Forex trading is consistency in the approach. This means that each trade needs to be well thought out through good analysis and research.

Keep a Diary:

In other words, learn from your mistakes. Successful Forex traders keep a diary of when, where and why they took each trade while writing down all the pertinent details. From that information, a trader can then discover their winning strategy and then pursue it on a daily basis. Keeping a detailed diary, especially in the first few weeks of trading is a very valuable strategy.

Forex Trading is Money Management:

The difference between long term success and failure is how the money is managed. By risking a set percentage each and every time, a trader will limit their losses when they occur and thus keep more of their money in the long run. By effectively managing your money from day to day, the trading will limit the losses and the winning results will start to add up over time.

The most successful Forex traders are those who base their strategy on winning more trades than losing and building up their investment over time. Keeping up your motivation and following a daily plan will help anyone execute the best Forex trading strategy possible. This means additional research and looking for signals which indicate the best circumstances to make a trade. Once a proper trading strategy has been developed, you can use it over and over again with success to build up your investment.

The Future of Digital Currency Adoption

Up to this date, the usability, function and exchange of Bitcoins and other digital currencies have been limited and circulating around small communities-group of individuals or large enterprises-who have ventured into the world of digital currency. Since the community is small, the ability to spend or trade it for various products is also limited and a lot of this currency owners hope that it can be widely accepted in the future. Although these are possible, this will take time and a lot of discussions as the concern for safety and security is at large. Besides that, the government and some large institutions are threatened with the possibility of using such a system.

The Reluctance

Not many people widely accept digital currency. If you haven’t heard of it or aren’t one of those who have spent much of your time understanding, mining and acquiring the said currencies, you will not feel safe trading in or acquiring such currencies in exchange of items that you wish to sell or have. It has not been accepted widely and the fear of the loss it may acquire in the future is great due to the fact that there is no governing body in it. People would need to feel safe using it but this would normally require the interference and approval of the government and general sectors of the financial market.

The Need for a Controlling body

The transfer to digital currency would allow people to make online trading without issuing actual and paper money which are prone to being stolen. However, it is not a hidden fact that some digital currencies have been stolen too. The government would want to control it as there is a significant amount of income from the exchanges and trade. Other sectors not open to the actual value of digital currencies may find it hard to liquidate their assets and make use of digital currency exchanges.

Although the future of digital currency adoption is greatly possible, the greatest risk everyone has to deal with would be the security. For example, PayPal is trying to impose this on their system (the news of which eventually made the value of Bitcoin rise in one day) but the problem is, delivery schedules may often not be met and it would be hard to recover the said currency-also includes defects on products upon delivery. The possible adoption could take time and effort from both the government and independent sectors to work out the glitches in connection with fraudulent acts over the internet and sectors wishing to sabotage the project.

Improving Your Credit Score – A How-To Guide

Getting the perfect credit score has been quite a challenge for a good number of people. However, such a score will guarantee you a lot of things. This means that you need to go out of your way and work on raising your credit score if it has been down. Luckily, there are ways to achieve this quickly, and this guide will look at how to improve your credit score.

Be Timely with Your Bills

Your payment history accounts for about 35% of your credit score. Looking at these values, you really need to ensure that your bills are paid on time to avoid losing valuable points. If you have been sitting on those bills, then it is time to get up and settle all of them. It is also pertinent to understand that accounts that have been late for more than 90 days attract the highest negative score. Therefore, start with those payments that are long overdue then hasten to complete even the most recent ones and remember to pay them in full.

Commit Yourself with a Credit Card

Having an active credit card or two is also one sure way of improving your credit score. If you qualify as a responsible card holder, there is no way your credit score will be down. Being responsible means making your payments on time. In case you do not qualify for a traditional credit card, you could try a secured one. As much as this card requires you to make a deposit first, it is still helpful in healing your credit score.

Avoid Opening Many New Accounts

Each time you go for a new credit card, the company always carries out a hard check on your credit health. Opening many accounts means that more checks will have to be carried out. If there are too many checks carried out on you, your credit score will definitely suffer when applying for the cards. This is because these checks are associated with people who are desperately trying to get credit and it is best to minimize them.

Limit Your Utilization Rate

Although it is advisable to get a credit card to improve your credit score, do not max out this card. Close to 30% of your credit score is based on your credit utilization and the lower this value is, the better your score. It is easy to calculate your usage. Simply divide your credit balances with your credit limit and anything between 0-20% is fine. Otherwise, limit those expenses that you make on your credit cards or you could also talk to your provider to increase your limit.

Do Not Close Old Accounts

If you have been thinking of closing your old credit accounts to create more room in your wallet for the new ones, then think again. Something close to 15% of your credit rating is based on your credit history. This implies that if you have old credit accounts, your chances of easily getting a better score are quite high. By closing your old accounts, you are limiting your history to the age of your oldest credit card which will lower your score.

Negotiate Where Possible

As much as you may have wanted to do everything right, there are times when you may not be able to meet one or two payments. This falling back on payments can ruin your score but you can negotiate your way out before it does. In case you lost your job somewhere along the line, make your creditors aware of this and ask them to recall any collection notice they may have put on your account. You can also ask for a good-will adjustment from some of your creditors. In fact, many people do not do this but you will be amazed at how understanding they can be.

Living without credit is not a possibility in today’s living conditions. No matter how bad your credit score might be, you always have a chance of reviving it and getting to enjoy even more credit. These simple tips will help you breathe a new lease of life to your credit score that will finally bring it up.