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DING DONG DITCH

Last night the strangest thing happened. I was sitting in our bedroom doing some reading and my husband was checking his e-mails from the couch. All of the sudden our beagle jumped up and started barking, howling actually, out of the window. I hopped up to answer the door, the UPS deliveries usually come around that time, so I just assumed that it was going to be a package. When I opened the door, there was no one there. There was also no package. I definitely heard the door. My dog and husband did too! The thing is, that I didn’t see anyone out of the door. There is just no way that someone would have time to knock on the door and not be seen. I got there really quickly. It really sort of frightened me, I knew that someone had knocked and I guess that the dog scared them away. I just have absolutely no idea who it could have been. I think that I am going to look into getting HOME ALARM SYSTEMS because it startled me so bad.

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Bank Operating Line of Credit and Letters of Credit

You are probably wondering what a series on business banking essentials is doing on a natural health website.

Well, stress caused by financial worries will eventually adversely affect your health. Many business owners operate under constant financial pressure, and this series on commercial banking and commercial finance will arm them with the knowledge that they need to deal confidently with diverse business situations, and with their bank managers. Knowledge is comforting, it is the fear of the unknown that is stressful.

How can I help you? I obtained my Chartered Accountant designation (I’m retired now) in Australia. Upon moving to Canada, I worked for a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of an American bank. Over time, I rose to become the Senior Vice-President responsible for the commercial finance division. This division granted flexible operating lines of credit, which included letters of credit for importers. In this career, I encountered numerous different types of businesses including trading, manufacturing and importing.

This is not intended to be a detailed accounting or banking course. I have put together the essential information you need in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your business. I shall tell you what your bank manager would like to hear from you at your meetings. I shall tell you the early warning signs that your business needs positive action.

These comments are not for retail business; they apply to wholesalers, importers and manufacturers.

To cover the vast amount of banking information, even in thumbnail format, I shall break it down into various segments. Some will apply to your business, others may not. I am intentionally phrasing the segments in very simple layman’s terms. I would advise you to discuss my advice with your accountant, or even your banker, before you decide to act on it.

This first segment deals with the initial loan application. It is assumed that you are applying for an operating line of credit, which may, or may not, include letters of credit. The actual loan within the line of credit will fluctuate at different times, depending on the cashflow, but the bank will put an upper limit which you cannot exceed without special authorization. The limit of the operating line of credit is determined by the bank after evaluating various aspects of your business, including your equity in it.

There is certain basic information that the financial institution requires in order to make the decision to finance your business. You must come to the appointment with the bank armed with this information, ideally accompanied by your accountant who prepared the information package.

” Financial Statements for the past three years

” Pro forma financial statement for the year to date

” Cashflow projections for the current year

” List of aged accounts receivable

” List of aged accounts payable

” Summary of inventory

From the above documents, the bank will ascertain whether your business was profitable in the past, and whether it appears to be profitable this year.

The cashflow projections will show how high the financial involvement will peak at, and how well the loan will be collateralized at any given time.

The accounts receivable list will disclose the quality of the customers and whether a significant percentage of them is delinquent.

The accounts payable list will reveal whether your business is up-to-date with its payments to suppliers.

The inventory summary will show the nature of the inventory and give an indication of whether it can be sold readily.

In addition to examining the above documentation in detail, be aware that a credit check will be done on the business to ascertain if there is any outstanding litigation, and as to its creditworthiness.

Knowing all this, be sure to have satisfactory explanations for any aspects that may appear detrimental to the bank.

It is important to keep in mind that the ideal customer for an operating line of credit, as far as the bank is concerned, is one who:

” Is profitable

” Needs the credit to finance profitable growth

” Does not require too high a loan/equity ratio

” Has adequate collateral to cover the loan at all times

” Has collateral that can be liquidated easily

” Has excellent credit rating

Your strategy? When making the loan application:

” stress the good value of the assets that support the equity of the business.

” Point out that the inventory is current, or can easily be sold.

” Explain that your accounts receivable are up-to-date and that delinquent receivables have been provided for.

” If you have unencumbered fixed assets, point out that there is additional collateral for the bank in them.

” Advise the bank that you have adequate fire insurance to protect the assets, and personal life insurance that could be used to protect the bank, if necessary.

” Recognise that the banker looks to collateral to repay the loan if the business fails. The banker is not really interested in intangible assets, such as goodwill, even though they could be very valuable.

Categories
Blogging

Bank Operating Line of Credit and Letters of Credit

Banking – Business Loan Application

Operating Lines of Credit and Letters of Credit

You are probably wondering what a series on business banking essentials is doing on a natural health website.

Well, stress caused by financial worries will eventually adversely affect your health. Many business owners operate under constant financial pressure, and this series on commercial banking and commercial finance will arm them with the knowledge that they need to deal confidently with diverse business situations, and with their bank managers. Knowledge is comforting, it is the fear of the unknown that is stressful.

How can I help you? I obtained my Chartered Accountant designation (I’m retired now) in Australia. Upon moving to Canada, I worked for a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of an American bank. Over time, I rose to become the Senior Vice-President responsible for the commercial finance division. This division granted flexible operating lines of credit, which included letters of credit for importers. In this career, I encountered numerous different types of businesses including trading, manufacturing and importing.

This is not intended to be a detailed accounting or banking course. I have put together the essential information you need in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in your business. I shall tell you what your bank manager would like to hear from you at your meetings. I shall tell you the early warning signs that your business needs positive action.

These comments are not for retail business; they apply to wholesalers, importers and manufacturers.

To cover the vast amount of banking information, even in thumbnail format, I shall break it down into various segments. Some will apply to your business, others may not. I am intentionally phrasing the segments in very simple layman’s terms. I would advise you to discuss my advice with your accountant, or even your banker, before you decide to act on it.

This first segment deals with the initial loan application. It is assumed that you are applying for an operating line of credit, which may, or may not, include letters of credit. The actual loan within the line of credit will fluctuate at different times, depending on the cashflow, but the bank will put an upper limit which you cannot exceed without special authorization. The limit of the operating line of credit is determined by the bank after evaluating various aspects of your business, including your equity in it.

There is certain basic information that the financial institution requires in order to make the decision to finance your business. You must come to the appointment with the bank armed with this information, ideally accompanied by your accountant who prepared the information package.

” Financial Statements for the past three years

” Pro forma financial statement for the year to date

” Cashflow projections for the current year

” List of aged accounts receivable

” List of aged accounts payable

” Summary of inventory

From the above documents, the bank will ascertain whether your business was profitable in the past, and whether it appears to be profitable this year.

The cashflow projections will show how high the financial involvement will peak at, and how well the loan will be collateralized at any given time.

The accounts receivable list will disclose the quality of the customers and whether a significant percentage of them is delinquent.

The accounts payable list will reveal whether your business is up-to-date with its payments to suppliers.

The inventory summary will show the nature of the inventory and give an indication of whether it can be sold readily.

In addition to examining the above documentation in detail, be aware that a credit check will be done on the business to ascertain if there is any outstanding litigation, and as to its creditworthiness.

Knowing all this, be sure to have satisfactory explanations for any aspects that may appear detrimental to the bank.

It is important to keep in mind that the ideal customer for an operating line of credit, as far as the bank is concerned, is one who:

” Is profitable

” Needs the credit to finance profitable growth

” Does not require too high a loan/equity ratio

” Has adequate collateral to cover the loan at all times

” Has collateral that can be liquidated easily

” Has excellent credit rating

Your strategy? When making the loan application:

” stress the good value of the assets that support the equity of the business.

” Point out that the inventory is current, or can easily be sold.

” Explain that your accounts receivable are up-to-date and that delinquent receivables have been provided for.

” If you have unencumbered fixed assets, point out that there is additional collateral for the bank in them.

” Advise the bank that you have adequate fire insurance to protect the assets, and personal life insurance that could be used to protect the bank, if necessary.

” Recognise that the banker looks to collateral to repay the loan if the business fails. The banker is not really interested in intangible assets, such as goodwill, even though they could be very valuable.

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Credit Card Fee Increases

“This month on our two credit card statements are notices informing us that as of Oct. 1st we may be charged “more than two” late fees or over the limit fees” per month. What’s going on?” Asked by Gwen.

It’s estimated that Americans charged $1.8 trillion in 2005 on the 690 million credit cards outstanding. According to a Government Accountability Office study released in September, 2006, 13% of credit card users were assessed over-limit fees and 35% were assessed late fees in 2005. So Gwen has a lot of company.

Let’s try to do three things. First, understand what these fees are. Next, see how fees are changing. And, finally, what Gwen can do to keep from being hurt.

Credit cards have always had fees. Some, like for a late payment, are understandable. Others came along as credit cards took on new capabilities. Think cash advance and balance transfer fees. Still others, like over-limit fees, seem like they shouldn’t be possible. You would think that they wouldn’t allow you to borrow more than your limit.

There are also ‘penalty interest rates’. If you’re late with a payment or go over your credit limit you could see your rate bumped to 30% or more.

The 2006 GAO study looked at fees and penalties. It said that not only were fees increasing, but the credit card companies were doing a lousy job of informing consumers about those fees.

The credit card companies are obligated to tell you about any fees or penalties and how they’re triggered. Some fees, like paying your credit card bill by phone, are sometimes not clearly disclosed. What Gwen received with her statement was a notice of a change in how fees would be charged. And, as long as she’s notified they can get by with almost anything.

Late fees have nearly tripled in the last 11 years. And many cards have adopted a ‘universal default clause’ that says a late payment on any card will trigger the penalty interest rate.

Credit card companies say that the higher interest rates and fees are appropriate based on risk factors. If it weren’t for the higher fees, they claim that they wouldn’t be able to offer credit to riskier consumers.

In fairness, the GAO’s survey found that (at least among 6 of the largest card issuers) 80% of accounts paid interest rates of less than 20%. So the vast majority of card users are not paying penalty rates.

But the study also found that the disclosures were written well above the eighth grade reading level and (surprise!) featured small print. They recommended that the Federal Reserve Board revise rules on credit card disclosures.

Now that we understand what’s going on we can try to help Gwen avoid problems. The first thing is to recognize that the card issuers get to make most of the rules. And, whether those rules are fair or not isn’t relevant. The best she can do is to avoid getting hurt by those rules.

Get familiar with each account. The only way to know exactly what’s allowed is to read and understand the “Card Member Agreement.” Tough duty. But necessary.

Watch out for unexpected fees. Like for balance transfers or increasing your credit limit. Know what could trigger fees or penalty rates.

Know exactly when your payment is due. Keep a list of due dates for your credit card accounts. If you don’t get the bill, it’s your responsibility to contact the company and still make a timely payment.

If possible, the best thing to do is to join nearly half of the cardholders who paid little or no interest. That’s because they do not carry a balance.

Obviously, for many people that’s not immediately possible. Then it’s important to send in your payment as soon as possible. Being seven days early is better than being one day late.

If you find it difficult to get your payment in on time, you might want to authorize the credit card company to automatically debit your checking account for the minimum payment each month. You’ll probably pay for the service, but that way the payment can’t be late.

Talk to your card issuer. If your due date falls at a bad time of the month, they’ll move it.

If Gwen is near or over the limit on any card, she should try to shift part of the debt to a different card. Some fees are even being assessed when an account is merely getting too close to the limit. Your best bet is to keep balances to less than half the available credit.

Although the higher late fees are infuriating, they do minimal damage. The real problem is in the universal default clause. Most credit card accounts now have a universal default clause.

Suppose your rate went from 15% to 30% on every open credit account. For every $1,000 you owe, an extra $150 interest would be charged each year. So if you’re the type of person carrying a $10,000 balance, that one late payment could cost you $1,500 per year. For as long as you have the balance!

Gwen is right to pay close attention to her credit card accounts. With newer fees and penalty rates in place, it becomes more important to manage your credit. In fact, it’s critical to your financial wellbeing.

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we will miss you Angie

At a time when I was on my own and saw nothing but dark you came into my life so bright

You picked me up and held me tight , pushed me threw and touch my soul

Showed me love , made me whole

Never stopped to think how different we where

You held my son with such love

I hope you know how much that meant

I finally know how unconditional felt

Now its time for you to leave

Such a short time you see

Such love and light you brought to all

Such care and kindness no matter what

Your soul is the purest of all

You are now at peace and never forgotten

We love and miss you Angie