Is There Such A Thing as Credit Check By Social Media?

When the news came on that credit reference agencies will soon scout your social media activity, it was met with scepticism. Especially in the past 6 years, many reports have emerged on how lenders to potential employers may have ‘credit checks’ on social media to determine the eligibility of a borrower.

While still a long way from becoming a common practice in the UK, credit checks using social media are already being conducted by lenders. The big question here – is a lender rightful in monitoring an individual’s online activity and social media presence in order to decide the approval or credit card, loan or mortgage?

Considering the Existing Cases

Lenders outside the UK have already started using Facebook to check the eligibility of applicants in number of ways. One way of doing this is checking the friends’ list of a potential borrower to see whether or not they have friends who have taken out credit from the same lender. The lender then checks their repayment history to find out if their friend (the potential borrower) has the ability to keep up with repayments or has friends who can be guarantors on their loans.

Consumers in emerging markets such as Mexico, Philippines, and South American countries are being increasingly targeted with social media credit checks. The case lending companies are making in such markets, which will likely be the reason for wide scale implementation when credit checks by social media do come to the UK, is that potential borrowers who are friends with people having good credit records may have a good credit report themselves. So basically, socialising with people who maintain good credit may come in handy for you in the near future.

Implementation in UK

It’s no surprise that online shopping activity and online presence of consumers is being targeted for marketing and other initiatives. Adding social media credit checks to this cycle (think big data) could allow lenders to paint a much more detailed picture of potential borrowers.

Of course, lenders today are increasingly deploying measures to get more and more information about potential borrowers. In addition to the credit reports they can get from Equifax, Experian, and other credit reference agencies (upon permission), lenders today are looking into other online mediums from which they can derive information that affects your eligibility to take out credit.

Future of Credit Checks

It is a fact that more information about a person is available to lenders today than ever. However, in the case of social media, a systematic and automated approach to social media credit checks can help in determining the feasibility of a potential borrower. At the same time though, this also raises concerns regarding privacy and what could be identified as personal information in the future.

The takeaway here is that we wouldn’t bet against credit checks on social media, especially as they are about to make their way to the UK. However, we must emphasise that a robust framework and some regulations in data collection are necessary to bring it to full swing.…

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Is It Safe to Invest While You Are Knee-Deep in Debt?

It is natural that if a person has some money, they would like to see it grow. However, most of the younger generations of our country are knee deep in debt by the time they graduate from college. Major portion of their income will go towards the repayment of debt. So, literally speaking, they do not have much money with them with which they can invest and pull themselves out of the rat race.

But hey, No need to get upset. Because it is possible that you can invest your money even if you owe loads of money to Mr. Banker. Here is why we think that it is perfectly safe to invest while you are stuck deep in debt.

You Can Pay Your Bills through Returns of the Investment

Not investing just because you have a mountain of debt is no excuse because you can invest your money in risk free securities and even risky securities topay off your debt gradually from the returns that your investment produces. It is, however, recommended that you consult a financial advisor before you start investing your money because he can construct for you a diversified portfolio, one that will fulfill your financial needs. A diversified portfolio of investment will have low risk thus it’d be safe to invest your money in it.

You Will Learn Money Management

Managing money is a science and if you are fresh off from college and deep in debt then probably this is the skill that you should learn because it will help you in the rest of your life. According to the statistics collected by the Parliament of UK, the current value of outstanding student loan is £10 billion and it will increase in coming years. So it is crucial than ever before that you learn to invest your money as it will help you in learning money management skill and will also help you in becoming financially astute that will improve your odds of becoming financially independent and paying off your student loans at an early age.

It’s Safe until You Manage Your Risks

Investing is considered as some sort of voodoo among those who haven’t got a clue about what it is. These people are the ones that create a fear in peoples mind that they’ll lose all their money if they are to invest it in the financial markets. In the financial markets losses are usually suffered by those who are highly geared i.e. the ones that have taken a lot of leverage but if you follow the principles of risk management then you’ll be able to make crazy amounts of money and payoff your debt faster than you would have paid through your paychecks.

If You Are Young Don’t Play it Safe

‘Is it safe to invest while you are knee-deep in debt?’ what kind of a crazy question is that? Remember kiddo there is no such thing as safe in this world. Your investment will have a high probability of being safe if you follow the above mentioned rules but in the end probability is just a probability.

So, invest the money that you can afford to lose.…

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The Types of Retirement Plans you Should Know About as a Small Business Owner

Employee retirement plans can be an effective tool to build a large retirement nest egg and secure post retirement life. They are a valuable option for employees and serve as an incentive to continue working with the firm, resulting in reduced absenteeism and employee turnover.

Employers can benefit from offering retirement plans to employees for a number of reasons. Offering a retirement plan can help attract talented employees. In addition, employers can receive tax deduction for matching contributions to the retirement account.

For small business owners, the question is therefore not whether they should offer a retirement plan to the employees or not, but what type of retirement plan should be offered to the employees.

The choices are many when it comes to implementing a retirement plan: Profit sharing plan, 401(k) plan, simplified employee pension (SEP), Simple IRA, to name just a few. Here, we will briefly give an overview of some of the best plans that small business owners can offer to the employees.

Defined Benefit Retirement Plan

A defined benefit pension plan is designed to provide a specific amount at retirement. This is the traditional pension plan in which the employer bears the risk of providing the promised level of retirement benefits to participants.

Profit Sharing Retirement Plan

Profit sharing retirement plans provides flexibility and control over contributions made to the account. A company can determine how much amount it will contribute to the account. It can invest the amount at its discretion that results in optimum benefit for both the company and the employee.

A type of profit sharing plan is age weighted plan that calculates contributions based on the age and compensation of the employees. This is similar to the defined benefit pension plan with the difference that it entails discretionary contributions. Treasure regulations Section 401(a) (4) allow profit sharing plan to be based on benefits that are anticipated at the time of retirement instead of the level of contributions during a particular period.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans

A simplified employee pension plan (SEP) has minimal reporting requirements similar to a traditional pension plan. The employer deposits contribution to the individual retirement account instead of an employee trust account, which greatly simplifies the accounting process. These plans are established under the IRS Model 5305-SEP form.

Simple and Roth IRA Retirement Plans

An individual retirement account (IRA) is a popular retirement plan that is simple to administer and implement. Tax free matching contributions can be made to the account up to a prescribed limit set by the IRS, which for 2015 and 2016 amounted to $5,500 (or $6,500 if you are 50 years or older).

Another retirement account is the Roth account that is different from simple IRA in that the taxes are levied on contributions, but withdrawals are tax free. This makes Roth IRA perfect for young and low income employees who will benefit from tax free post retirement withdrawals and won’t miss out on the upfront tax. There is also a SEP IRA pension plan that is fully funded by an employer instead of a matching contribution.

401(k) Retirement Saving Plans

401 (k) retirement plans include simple, Roth, Safe-harbor, and owner only plans. The simple and Roth 401(k) retirement plans are similar to simple and Roth IRA with the difference that the employer set the maximum contribution limit and not the IRA. Moreover, employees are not permitted to take loan from their IRA accounts, but they can do so with 401(k) retirement plan. In addition, Roth 401 (k) plan permits employees to make after-tax salary deferrals into the plan.

A safe harbor 401(k) plan is different in that nondiscrimination tests are not employed, and all employees can maximize the deferrals. Lastly, an owner only/one-person 401(k) is allowed to shareholders/partner/owner of a small business and their spouses to optimize their contributions in case the net compensation is below a certain limit.…

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The Importance of Technology and Audio Visual Aids

It is important for every business to communicate its messages clearly and efficiently. The sector of technology has developed tremendously due to increase in the demand for developed media. Print media in the form of newspapers, bulletins, magazines, brochures were used only previously and now we have internet, television, radio, audio visual aids that permit the spread of business information all across the globe. Businesses can integrate audio visual aids in their marketing campaign to draw the maximum attention. Most organizations and companies make use of audio visual aids for advertising and marketing. The overall effect of media is enhanced with the improvement of graphics and visuals. Not only for business purpose but also audio visual aids are being employed in the teaching and learning sector as well.

Improving overall learning efficiency

The integration of audio video clips can boost the receptive nature of students. This improves the overall learning efficiency. More number of schools are integrating the tech gadgets and learning aids into their teaching process. In fact, the language usage is also getting enhanced greatly with increasing participation from students. More number of colleges, institutions incorporates them and thus they become important components of meetings, conferences and seminars.

Audio visual aids for presentations and seminars

There are various audio visual companies that provide audio visual arrangements to let businesses arrange presentations or seminars. They are being employed by most of the large scale companies. Events where they are used extensively include exhibitions, seminars, international seminars and educational speeches. So, if you are a business requiring the facility on a continuous basis, you can consider tying up with any of the reliable companies making such arrangements. When you host any of the company’s events, you need to consider the number of attendees joining, the kind of function to be organized and your budget.

Better retention rate of employees and audiences



With the rapid industrialization, services of companies indulged in audio visual aids are greatly considered. Here the comfort of the guests is high priority and everything is arranged in a systematic manner. Businesses can enjoy better retention rate of employees with multi-faceted communication methods. By employing multiple communication methods, any business can communicate the message to the audience clearly. For better information retention, businesses need to consider sight, sound and written handouts.

Save time while communicating business message

Visual aids can save a lot of time since the audience can understand better. Time is one such factor which has to be saved at every cost. If you are business looking to save time with the least cost, just incorporate visual aids. In case, the message is too complex and a lot many things need to be communicated in short time, you may use projectors, whiteboards, animations, photographs, charts, diagrams to make your message clear. They can totally attract the attention of the viewers.

Reaching out to wider audiences

In multimedia presentations, you may use audio aids. This is cost effective and again an outstanding way to reach out to the audiences.Before using any of the aids, you need to consider your budget and the needs. The effectiveness of the medium or technique has to be considered.

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