Credit News

5 easy steps to buying a new motorcycle

#motorcycle loan calculator

5 easy steps to buying a new motorcycle

“One of the biggest mistakes is buying a bike that’s cool as opposed to something that properly fits your needs,” says Steven Balduzzi, who has been riding motorcycles for more than 30 years and was involved in motorcycle sales, maintenance and bike assembly at two dealerships in the 1990s.

Each type of motorcycle has a different fit. Balduzzi, from Jupiter, Fla. notes that sport bikes — high-performance machines that are built for speed and acceleration — can become uncomfortable during a long commute. You have to lean forward to hold the handlebars and tuck your legs up high to reach the foot pegs, Balduzzi says.

On a cruiser motorcycle, like a Harley-Davidson, Basem Wasef, a Los Angeles-based motorcycle writer for, explains that on this type of bike, you have much more upright posture and your legs are in front of you, giving them room to move around.

Touring bikes are meant to be ridden long distances. They’re all about comfort and often have backrests, wind screens, saddlebags, radios and even speaker systems, Wasef says.

В® Ez Payday Loan and Ez Payday Cash

#cash payday loans
# В® Ez Payday Loan and Ez Payday Cash

The economy these days stays unsure, and this affects lots of individuals in the nation. This leads to lots of families and individuals to encounter financial shortage. At times, you eagerly want funds however, you do not know exactly where to acquire them. You can have loans from banks and several other banking institutions. Nevertheless, a very long process is concerned in it, not to mention the numerous paper documents that you should submit and the great credit rating that you ought to have.

Needless to say, some who immediately need money don’t see this realistic. Luckily, people can now opt for payday loans from dependable companies at their very own comfort. There are a number of firms available, but the one that definitely stands out is, and here are the explanations why:

You can Totally Access It Anytime

Not like traditional loan sources, people can obtain payday loans from easily merely because they only have to apply online or by telephone. After filling up the online application, they’ll procedure your application immediately. The expected release of your loan is on the next banking day so you can absolutely pay for all the expenses on the unexpected emergency situations.

Clients Will be Handled Similarly

Among the most important requirements as a way to get a loan is a good credit history. Nonetheless, that kind of credit status is very hard to achieve taking into consideration the poor financial system right now. The great thing is, ez payday cash doesn’t conduct any credit assessment simply because they completely understand your situation. Meaning to say, poor credit is not a problem at all in having a loan.

No reason to Worry about Security

From the very start, ez payday loan strives to give economic relief so they see to it that all financial data of their members and personal information are greatly protected. Only authorized individuals can gain access to your information and this is made probable by the latest technology and procedural safeguards.

Hiring ez payday loan won’t charge you much as they have the cheapest payday loan rate among the competitiors. They have various payment schemes which an individual can select from in accordance to his/her spending budget. If you still don’t have the money to pay on the payment date, you can ask for an extension from them. A detailed list of loan rates is obtainable online, so check it to see the amount you will be paying.

They Bring Lots of Benefits gives a little assistance for all their members in terms of assisting them save and earn money at the same time. Essentially, a member can avail of a loan that is discounted up to 30% through the firm’s Preferred Member Program. Furthermore, they can probably receive 0 (no strings attached) once the loan application from their good friend or relative is approved. This is the way they value their members.

The Best Customer Care You Can Depend on

We have the customer support service that are always available to respond to any in your concerns about your payday loans. You can seek out such service the whole day every Monday to Saturdays.

When you need fast, reliable, and secured payday loans at a reasonable rate, then call now. Unquestionably, this company is matchless regarding their payday loan services, needless to say their inviting benefits. For the best payday loan services with no added burdens, go to exactly where monetary solutions is given right away.

6 Common Questions About Student Loan Defaults and Tax Refunds – US News

#tax loan

6 Common Questions About Student Loan Defaults and Tax Refunds

Spring means blooming flowers, budding trees and, if you’re lucky, a lovely federal tax refund from Uncle Sam to go toward a big purchase, paying down debt or padding your savings account. But if you’ve defaulted on a federal student loan. your tax refund may not appear as expected.

Most federal student loans are considered to be in default when payments are 270 days or more past due.

Once your student loan hits default status, the federal government can and will go to extreme lengths to reclaim its money. One of those methods is the Treasury Offset Program, a U.S. Department of the Treasury program that can seize federal payments owed to you to in order to pay delinquent debts owed to other federal agencies, like the U.S. Department of Education.

Here are some of the top questions we answer about college and graduate school student loan tax refund offsets each year around this time.

1. How do I know if my tax refund will be seized? Federal law requires that the holder of your defaulted federal loan – the U.S. Department of Education, a guaranty agency acting on behalf of the department or your school – send you proper notice before an offset occurs. The notices are sent to you using the best address available to the department, from all legally available resources, including the most recent address used by you in your most recent federal tax return.

The notice typically goes out at the end of the summer to give you an opportunity to resolve the defaulted loan before the account is certified for offset.

2. How much of my tax refund can be seized? Up to 100 percent of your tax refund can be taken, and you can still be subject to an offset even if your wages are being garnished as well. Funds can be taken without your permission, but you will receive information regarding the amount and date of your offset.

3. Can I stop the offset? You may be able to avoid the tax offset if you set up a satisfactory repayment arrangement and begin making payments before the deadline outlined in the warning notice. Payments made under a voluntary payment plan are often lower than the amount taken through garnishment and can lead to resolving the default altogether through rehabilitation or consolidation.

Contact your loan holder to get started. You can find this information by going to the National Student Loan Data System .

4. Can only my federal tax refund be seized? No. A number of states have laws authorizing state guaranty agencies to take state income tax refunds as well. You should be able to identify if your loan is with a guaranty agency by visiting the student loan data system. Additionally, any other federal payments or benefits owed to you, such as Social Security, as well as your wages can be garnished.

5. Can I challenge the offset? Yes, you can request a hearing to appeal to the U.S. Department of Education or guaranty agency, either before or after the offset occurs. It’s best to do so as soon as you get the notice about the offset process. If you dispute the offset after it occurs and it’s proven to be in error, the federal government will refund you.

You cannot challenge the offset simply because you did not receive a notice from your loan holder, but you can dispute it if you can prove you’ve repaid the defaulted loan, the loan isn’t yours, the loan was formerly discharged in bankruptcy, you’re totally and permanently disabled or for other reasons. You may also be able to challenge your offset if it will cause financial hardship.

6. How can I prevent tax refund offsets? The easiest way to never face tax refund garnishment is to avoid default in the first place. Much has been written about the lack of consumer protections, like bankruptcy, for student loan borrowers in financial distress. But in reality, federal student loans offer many more options to avoid default than most other forms of consumer debt.

After all, you can’t temporarily postpone payments on your mortgage, car loan or credit cards because of economic hardship, unemployment, military service or because you’re going back to school. But you can with your federal student loans.

The trick is to maximize your rights and take advantage of your options before you get into trouble. If you can’t make your monthly payment, contact your loan holder immediately and ask about your options. That way, this time next year you’ll be holding a fat tax refund check instead of the dreaded offset letter.

5 Warning Signs of a Bad Credit Card – US News

#bad credit cards

5 Warning Signs of a Bad Credit Card

Don’t be duped by a horrible offer.

It doesn’t take much effort to find dozens or even hundreds of credit card offers. All you have to do is visit the websites of the largest credit card issuers, such as JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America. Add to that the Visas and MasterCards available from major retailers, hotel chains and airlines, and it’s easy to find yourself awash in offers.

Naturally, some offers are better than others. It’s often tricky to determine what the best offer is, but there are a few warning signs of an offer that’s not as good as others. Here are five clear signs of a credit card you should skip right past.

No bonus rewards. Reward programs are common features of credit cards. They offer you some form of reward or rebate for purchases made on the cards.

Reward credit cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some provide discounts at specific retailers. For example, the Target Visa gives you 5 percent off on all purchases at Target. Various gas station chains offer as much as 25 cents per gallon in rebates when you use their particular Visa or MasterCard to buy gas. Other cards offer points that can be used in various ways. Some hotel chains, for instance, offer cards that generate points with each purchase and can be exchanged for a free night of lodging at one of the hotels in that chain.

If you’re smart, a good rewards program can easily help you save on everyday purchases. There are multitudes of cards out there that offer at least some kind of rewards program, so there’s no reason to accept a card that offers you nothing in return for using it.

High APR. If you carry a balance on your card from month to month, you’re going to face interest charges. The higher the APR on your card, the more interest you’re going to pay each month on a particular balance.

Let’s say you have a 19.9 percent APR on a card with a $1,000 balance, and your monthly minimum payment is 4 percent of your balance. In that case, to pay off the card, you’ll pay $40 a month, but it will take 73 months. You’ll also end up paying a total of $1,556, which translates to an extra $556 in interest.

If you simply reduce the interest rate to 9.9 percent APR (and leave the other factors the same – a $1,000 balance and a 4 percent monthly payment), things change quickly. You’ll still pay $40 a month, but you’ll end up paying off the card in 58 months. Your total payment will be $1,209.11 – only $209.11 paid in interest.

Therefore, if you carry a balance, a high APR is something to avoid because a lower APR will directly save you money. (Of course, it’s better to simply not carry a balance.)

Low credit limit. Each credit card offer comes with a credit limit that indicates the maximum amount of credit you can use on that card. While it’s rarely a good idea to use a card up to the credit limit, there are times when that flexibility can help.

For example, if you’re going to make a major purchase like a laptop, it’s nice to have the consumer protection that a Visa or MasterCard offers, but if your credit limit is too low, you can’t simply buy it with a swipe of the card.

A higher limit can also help improve your credit score, since scores factor in credit card utilization rates (the ratio of your balances to credit limits).

The bottom line: If your card offer limits your credit to $250 or $500, look elsewhere.

High fees and penalties. Credit card companies make a lot of money from fees. Fees for balance transfers, cash advances, cash withdrawals from ATMs, payment by phone, online payments – if there’s a way to charge you, they will.

That’s why it pays to look at the fine print. If you find that a card will charge you fees for all of these things – particularly for things you are likely to do, like transferring balances – skip it and move on to the next offer.

Variable interest rates. This is a particularly pernicious trick that some credit card companies like to use. They’ll advertise a very low initial rate, but it turns out that it’s a variable rate they can change at will. Trust me, they will change it, and it will cost you.

You should look for fixed-interest rate cards, even if they’re a bit higher than variable rate cards. Still, be careful – there are situations when companies can change the rate on a fixed rate card. Be aware of those situations by reading the documentation that comes with your card.

If you avoid these five warning signs of a bad credit card, you’ll wind up with a card that’s right for you .

5 Tips on How to Negotiate a Car Loan

#interest rate on car loan

5 Tips on How to Negotiate a Car Loan

By Mark Riddix

You have finally settled on buying an automobile. You have found the exact make, model, and color that you want. Now comes the most difficult part: signing the papers. If you don t have your financing in place before visiting the dealership, then you will have to apply for dealer financing. The salesman and finance manager will try to sell you everything from extended warranties to floor mats. You will have to be prepared for the never-ending sales pitch that is about to come. In this post, I am going to delve into how to negotiate a car loan, which is one of the key areas you need to master when trying to take advantage of our 5 tips on how to buy a new or used car from a dealer .

Here are 5 great tips to help you negotiate the best deal:

1. Always negotiate the price.

This may sound simple enough but it can actually be difficult. One trick that is often used by car salesmen is to get you negotiating payments. You will be asked questions like: How much are you looking to pay per month? or What do you want your payment to be? Car salesmen love to negotiate payments as opposed to the actual price of the car. That s because they want to set the price based on the maximum monthly payment that you are willing to pay. If you fall for this tactic, you will end up paying a whole lot more for your car. Negotiate the price, not car payments!

2. Keep your loan term as short as possible.

Dealers have come up with creative financing programs that will allow borrowers to lower their monthly payments. They do this by lengthening the number of years on the auto loan. Today, borrowers are allowed to finance a car for up to 7 years. This is absolutely ludicrous! A car is a depreciating asset and is losing value every year. The best loan term is 4 years or less. The maximum is 5 years. Under no circumstances should you ever take a car loan over 60 months or you could very well find yourself with an upside down car loan .

3. Skip all of the extras.

Finance managers will try to get you to buy every option available. They will sell you gap insurance. rustproofing, fabric protection, extended warranties, paint protection, and car alarms. Many of these are useful items but the dealer markup is ridiculous. They make huge profits by ripping customers off on these products. You can get extended warranties and car alarms cheaper aftermarket. Rustproofing is not essential for modern cars. You can apply Scotchgard and paint protection yourself for a few bucks. Gap insurance is sold at most credit unions for a much lower price.

4. Say no to high interest loans.

Your credit rating will determine the interest rate that you get. Just because your credit is not tip-top does not mean that you have to take a loan with a ridiculously high interest rate. Individuals with good credit will get loans with single digit APRs. Individuals with average credit may get loans at 10% to 12%. Individuals with bad credit will be offered loans at 15% or higher. Many people with bad credit accept loans with interest rates as high as 24%. Never take a loan with exorbitant interest rates. No matter what your credit situation, it is never worth paying usurious interest rates just for the right to own a car.

5. Keep emotions out of your decision.

Buying a car can be an incredibly emotional decision. After you have gone out for a test drive and gotten a whiff of that new car smell, it can be difficult to leave. If the dealership is unwilling to negotiate, you should be prepared to walk away. Remember that they are not doing you a favor by selling you a car. You are paying money for this automobile. Don t allow your feelings to get you stuck in a bad car loan that you will regret for years to come.

Do you have any horror stories from when you negotiated your auto loan? Any additional tips you have for negotiating a car loan?

Ripoff Report

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This is the best way to manage and repair your business reputation. Hiding negative complaints is only a Band-Aid. Consumers want to see how a business took care of business.

All business will get complaints. How those businesses take care of those complaints is what separates good businesses from bad businesses.

Consumers love to do business with someone that can admit mistakes and state how they made improvements.

5 Types of Bad Credit Loans to Avoid – US News

#payday loans for bad credit

5 Types of Bad Credit Loans to Avoid

You’re probably seen the advertisements. Here’s why it’s wise to stay away from these loans.

Bad credit loans should just be called bad loans.

Even if your finances are rock-solid, you’ve probably noticed the advertisements suggesting that if you have bad credit, Company X will be happy to give you a loan.

And unless you’re young and not yet jaded, you know that accepting a loan from Company X isn’t smart.

But if you’re desperate enough, you might take one out anyway. You might feel that if a company is dumb enough to loan you money despite your bad credit, it’s better to take the money and ask questions later. But it’s actually better to ask questions now. Here are some common bad credit loans – and why it’s better to stay away.

Automobile loans for consumers with bad credit. If the interest rate is in the double digits and the time period you have to pay off the car is longer than four or five years, this is not a good deal.

Katie Moore, a Detroit-based counselor with GreenPath Debt Solutions, a nationwide nonprofit that helps consumers with debt and bankruptcy, says she recently worked with a woman who took out a loan to finance a car. The monthly payment for the $15,000 used car was $300, which the woman felt was manageable, but the interest rate was 18 percent – for the next 84 months.

The salesman told her that after a couple years of paying on time, she could refinance.

The salesman was full of it.

The vehicle is going to depreciate much faster than it is paid off, Moore says. It’s very difficult to get a new finance company to refinance that loan even if you have improved your credit because the vehicle is not worth what you owe.

So assuming Moore’s client doesn’t get her car refinanced, after 84 months, the client will have paid over $26,000 for the vehicle, Moore says.

And if you’re buying a used car, it may not last seven years – or by then, it may be at the mechanic every other month.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average length someone owns a used car is 49.9 months, says Kimberly Allen, a Williamsburg, Virginia-based counselor with ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a debt and credit counseling nonprofit.

If your loan is going to outlive how long you plan to keep a car, then [the loan] is a never-ending cycle, Allen says.

[Read: How to Pay Down Credit Cards to Boost Your Credit Score .]

Payday loans. Payday loans are illegal in some states, and the rules vary in others. But the gist of these loans is that as long as you can show proof of income, lenders offer you a small loan – usually anywhere from $100 to $1,000 – with interest. If you take out a $400 loan, two weeks later, you may owe $460.

Usually after two weeks, you’ll owe the payday lending store $460, which could be a problem if your paycheck is, say, $600 – and you have $500 in bills that need to be paid. What frequently happens is that the borrower gives the payday lender $460, leaving the borrower with $140 to stretch until the next paycheck. Then, flustered, the borrower may take out another payday loan for $400 or $500. And the cycle of debt continues or worsens.

Those aren’t ‘temporary’ loans to fix a short-term crisis as they advertise, but can be unending nightmares, Allen says.

Auto title loans. It’s a disaster waiting to happen, says Bruce McClary, a certified financial educator at ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions.

Auto title loans are advertised in storefronts and online. You’re given a loan of several thousand dollars or so with the promise that if you can’t pay it back, you’ll give them your car.

I worked with a family who was paying 89 percent interest, says Robert Semrad, a bankruptcy attorney based in Chicago who owns DebtStoppers bankruptcy law firm. Even worse, he says the car was almost paid off, and by the time the family came to him, they could barely remember what they used the money for.

Ripoff Report

#loan point usa

Don’t let them get away with it! Let the truth be known!

  • Update a Report
  • Program Services
  • Help FAQs
  • Consumer Resources
  • Verified Business Directory
  • Legal Directory
  • Consumers Say Thank You
  • In the Media Repair your reputation the right way Corporate Advocacy Program

Reputation Management

Corporate Advocacy Program

This is the best way to manage and repair your business reputation. Hiding negative complaints is only a Band-Aid. Consumers want to see how a business took care of business.

All business will get complaints. How those businesses take care of those complaints is what separates good businesses from bad businesses.

Consumers love to do business with someone that can admit mistakes and state how they made improvements.

7 Small Business Loan Myths. Busted

#getting a loan

7 Small Business Loan Myths. Busted

Getting a small business loan isn t as difficult as you think. / Credit: Calculator image via Shutterstock

Getting a small business loan can be complicated, but don t believe everything you hear about the process. Here are seven small business loan myths you should think twice about:

Myth No. 1: Getting a small business loan is the hardest thing you ll ever have to do.

While obtaining a loan for your small business is no easy feat, it doesn t have to be an insurmountable trial. Small business lending experts agree that you can best avoid such trouble by preparing for the challenges that applying for a small business loan may present.

While there are challenges, a lot of the frustration around obtaining small business financing can be eased by doing your due diligence, said Michael Adam, the founder and CEO of Bankmybiz. a social media-style site that connects business owners with business funders, in an email interview with Business News Daily. Be prepared and have all your documents ready to present to lenders.

Myth No. 2: You have to have perfect credit to get a small business loan.

Good news for those who think that bad personal credit means never owning or expanding a business. While low credit scores might have been a non-starter in years past, today s lending environment is actually more open to subpar credit ratings than ever before.

While traditional banks may be restrictive when it comes to obtaining credit, there are alternative options, said Michael Kevitch, the president of Varsity Business Solutions, a business-funding consulting group, in an email interview with Business News Daily.

Alternative lending sites like those operated by Varsity Business Solutions (All Business Loans and Small Business Funding ) tend to base lending decisions on the financial realities of a business rather than the financial history of business owners. Specifically, Kevitch said, alternative lenders take a close look at business performance, industry type, time in business and cash flow before handing out a loan.

Myth No. 3: The best way to obtain a loan for my business is through a bank.

Think your bank is the best (or only) place to apply for a loan? Think again. Traditional lending institutions have been a mainstay of small business funding for many decades, and still are, in some industries. But they are not the only places (or necessarily the best places) to turn to for a loan.

For business owners looking to borrow a relatively small sum (between $5,000 and $250,000), getting a bank loan is likely to be more trouble than it s worth, said Kevitch, president of Varsity Business Solutions. But even he concedes that bank loans may still be a great option for business owners who need to borrow a significant chunk of cash, over a long period, and still get a low interest rate. But he warns business owners to make sure they fall under those categories before applying through a bank.

You will be required to provide a lot of unnecessary documentation and most likely provide some sort of collateral, said Kevitch. Alternative private banks and lenders can provide capital with much less hassle.

Kevitch also notes that getting a loan through an alternative lending source is usually much quicker than obtaining a bank loan. With a simple application, some bank statements, a photo ID and proof of ownership, business owners can have cash in hand in as little as seven days, he said.

EditoR&Rsquo;s Note: Considering a small business loan for your business? If you re looking for information to help you choose the one that s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, Buyer Zone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

Myth No. 4: The worst way to obtain a loan for my business is through a bank.

Bank loans might not be the best option for every small business, but they re far from the worst funding option out there. In fact, for established businesses looking to grow at a moderate rate, traditional bank funding is generally a great option, said Adam, CEO of Bankmybiz. It s when a business doesn t fit those criteria that business owners should consider shopping around.

If you are a younger company, pre-revenue or low revenue, but plan to grow very quickly due to the industry that you re in (i.e. healthcare, IT or software consulting), then a traditional bank loan may actually limit your growth, Adam said.

To decide whether a bank loan is right for your business, research both traditional loans and alternative funding sources. It s also important to know your business inside and out.

If you anticipate steady growth over the next few years, then a traditional bank may be best, Adam said. If you are growing like crazy, and you know you will need to keep increasing your loan size by large increments each quarter, then entertain a non-bank lending partner, as banks may not be able to keep up with your needs.

Myth No. 5: The more money you ask for, the less likely you are to be approved for a small business loan.

You might find this myth floating around Internet forums and perhaps even hear it from well-meaning friends and family members. It s all right to ask for money, the non-expert will tell you, just don t ask for too much. While this might be reasonable advice for a kid negotiating his allowance, it doesn t hold much water in the business world.

A business should apply for what they need not more, not less, said Evan Singer, general manager at SmartBizLoans. an automated online SBA loan program, in an interview with Business News Daily.

Singer recommends considering both how much money you really need to grow your business and how much money you can afford to pay back every month.

Make sure that you have cash flow to make your loan payments, Singer said. That s the biggest thing that a [lender] is going to check, that [the business owner] can actually afford to make their loan payments.

Myth No. 6: The most important thing you need in order to obtain a small business loan is a good business plan.

No discussion of small business funding would be complete without mention of the holy grail of small business documents: the business plan. There are multiple perspectives on whether or not a traditional business plan (executive summary, market analysis the whole 9 yards) still has a place in the loan application process.

Some funding experts seem to believe that the business plan, as a tool for measuring the likely success and fundability of a business, is a bit outdated. Singer said that while traditional banks might still require business plans during the loan application process, your business won t need a business plan to get an SBA loan online. Singer s company recently launched the first-ever fully online platform for SBA-guaranteed loan applications.

And while Bankmybiz CEO Adam agrees that most lenders won t require a full-fledged business plan, he does think that having a plan at the ready is always a good idea.

Every business should have some sort of business plan, Adam said. It s just a good practice to anticipate growth, set milestones and keep yourself accountable. If you don t have one, create one. You ll be glad you did in the long run.

Myth No. 7: If I need a loan fast, I can t get one through the Small Business Association (SBA).

Until very recently, this oft-repeated myth was more fact than fiction. The process of applying for an SBA-guaranteed loan traditionally started with an in-person visit to a local bank and could take up to four months to complete. For small business owners looking for cash in a hurry, an SBA-guaranteed loan was simply not a viable option.

But recent developments in the SBA loan application and underwriting process have made it possible for business owners to get the affordable, guaranteed loan they need much faster. SmartBizLoans has expedited the process of obtaining a loan through the SBA, said the company s general manager, Singer.

By automating the front-end application process for small business owners and the back-end underwriting and originating processes for banks, Smartbizloans makes it possible for small business owners to receive SBA-guaranteed funding in as soon as five days. The company s fully online application takes about 30 minutes to complete, and those who qualify can start receiving funds within five to seven days.

EditoR&Rsquo;s Note: Considering a small business loan for your business? If you re looking for information to help you choose the one that s right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, Buyer Zone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

9 Tips for Lending Money to Family – Friends

#loan money

9 Tips for Lending Money to Family Friends

By Jacqueline Curtis

Lending money to loved ones is often a bad idea because it puts your relationship in jeopardy. But when someone you love is in a serious bind and you have the means to help, it can be impossible to say no. So what do you do?

What you don t do is lend money on good faith and expect to be paid back. Just as if you were loaning to a complete stranger, you need to be smart about setting up the terms and a schedule for repayment with your friends and family. But as long as you and your money stay protected, lending to someone you love is doable even if it isn t necessarily advisable.

How to Lend Money to Loved Ones

When someone you love asks you to hand over your hard-earned cash, give yourself time to consider your answer. Ask what other avenues he or she has sought to procure money. Chances are your loved one is deep in debt and won t qualify for a traditional bank loan or peer-to-peer lending. But still, it pays to ask and make it clear that if you re to consider lending money, you require full financial disclosure.

Consider these additional tips to lessen the stress of lending to friends or family:

1. Deal With Cash Only

If a sibling asks you to open a credit card in your name for his or her use, or requests that you co-sign for a loan. shut down the scheme as soon as possible. Never put yourself in a position where someone else s actions could affect your ability to borrow or secure credit in the future. You can control cash, and lending it won t directly affect your credit score. If  a loved one asks for help, only deal with cash or politely decline.

2. Only Lend What You Can Afford

There s an old gambling saying that you should never bet more than you can afford to lose. The same can be said for lending to a friend or family member. Since the money might never be paid back, you need to decide if you re willing to forgive the debt in order to save the relationship so if $5,000 could break you financially, don t lend it.

Even the most well-meaning loved one might fall on hard times and default. Ask yourself whether you are okay with that. If not, don t dole out the loan.

3. Consider the Impact

When you lend money to a family member, you impact just about everyone else you re related to. Allowing one family member to borrow and not another could drive a wedge into your relationships. Other family members might see favoritism or enabling, so seriously think about how going through with the loan will make others feel.

If you re a parent considering loaning money to a child, it might even be a good idea to call a family meeting to discuss the terms openly. That way, none of your other children will be confused or hurt by the decision.

4. Get Full Details

While you might be anxious about hurting a loved one s feelings, you need to know where your cash is going to decide if it s worthy of a loan. A bank would never blindly hand over funds without knowing what it s being spent on, and neither should you.

If a family member becomes offended, take it as a red flag that it s not a deal you should make. And if you are provided details, follow up on them. For example, if a friend asks for a couple thousand dollars for a down payment on a home, check out the house, its cost, neighborhood comparisons, and how a down payment will affect the mortgage. Investigate all of these variables prior to making your decision.

5. Charge Interest

Charging interest to a family member or friend might seem unnecessary, but it s the fairest way to protect yourself. Not only will a fair interest rate inspire your family member to pay you back in a timely manner, but it can also protect you from being charged gift taxes on the money you lend. As of 2012, if you lend more than $13,000, you re liable to pay a gift tax on that amount if you don t set a loan with reasonable terms and get it in writing. For larger loans, confirm with an accountant what you need to do to protect yourself.

While a verbal agreement is considered legally binding, it still comes down to your word against someone else s and even if you trust your loved one to abide by the parameters you set, you could land in hot water without a written agreement.

Having written details that both parties agree to by signature is also a great tool to prevent misunderstandings. Should legal action ever become necessary, a written contract is nearly ironclad in court, which protects you far more than a mere handshake.

9. Distance Yourself

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when lending to friends and family is to micromanage that person s spending after you ve made the loan. Once you ve agreed and inked the deal, the money that you lend is no longer in your control obsessing over how it s spent will only foster problems. Separate yourself from the money and focus on repayment, not on how it s spent.

When to Say No

If you aren t comfortable with the lender-borrower relationship, it may be in both your best interests to decline your loved one s loan request. Money can be a serious force in driving apart friendships and family relationships, so trust your instincts and simply decline if you feel uneasy about the deal. Perhaps you can help in other ways: offer a small cash gift, buy groceries, or find other service-based ways to lend assistance.

Final Word

Is lending to family members or friends the best financial decision you could ever make? Probably not. But all financial advice aside, sometimes your relationships trump traditional money sense. If you absolutely must lend to someone you love, just make sure you do it with your head, and not your heart. Being too forgiving or trusting might be admirable, but it can also lead to you being taken advantage of, even by someone who has the best intentions.

Do the work, prepare for the worst, and work to keep your relationship as stable as possible to make lending money a positive experience for both parties involved.

Have you ever loaned money to a family member or friend? If so, did the experience put any strain on your relationship?