VA Home Refinancing and Loan Programs for US Veterans

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, also known too many as the VA is operating the VA Home Loan Program for qualifying veteran and citizens. The program, dubbed by many as one of the most effective veteran support campaigns being used today, is designed to help veterans purchase a home for themselves and their families as well as help them do so in with better access to competitive interest rates and loan services. Like other Loan systems VA loans have its own benefits and have its own particular requirements for effective use and implementation.

How the VA Loan Program Works

The VA loan program works not by actually giving out loans to veterans directly but by offering to guarantee loans made by qualifying individuals. Because the government, through the Department of Veterans Affairs effectively stands behinds the veterans and ensures minimal losses for lenders, more lenders are eager to provide loans at better rates and with better services than what would have been originally available without the program. VA approved lenders are readily available in most areas and many veterans can choose between offers made by multiple lenders to increase savings and or secure better loans.

Eligibility for a VA Loan

The VA has established a clear set of guidelines regarding who will be eligible for a VA loan. Generally speaking, veterans who have served the required amount of time may request for their certificate of eligibility from the local VA office to bring to approved lenders as proof. Some lenders offer get the certificated of eligibility for the veterans to improve efficiency and this can be done through the Web LGY System of the VA. Certain spouses of veterans that were killed in services or as a result of service are also eligible to receive VA loan benefits. Local VA offices as well as the national website and offices of the Department of Veterans Affairs can offer detailed explanations and information on the requirements for eligibility under the home loan program.

Refinancing and the VA Home Loan Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs actually offers a loan option for refinancing previous loans made by veterans. The loan, called the Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, also known as a streamline or VA to VA loan is the major component of the VA home refinancing program that is aimed to help veterans get access to lower interest rates or fixed interest rates when the opportunities arise. This kind of refinancing helps reduce the total, final costs of the property bought under the loan and does not have an effect on future eligibility for additional loans provided that the veteran clear earlier loans first.

Student Loans – The Essential Information Resource!

Student loans in Canada are provided by a joint Federal and Provincial program with the amount of and eligibility for a loan different between the Provinces and so depends upon the Province you are a resident of (your Province or territory of residence is decided by where you have lived for the last 12 months consecutively whilst NOT a student). You may, however, attend any educational establishment in the country provided both the establishment and the program of your choice are listed by the assistance office in your province.

There are several different types of funding for post secondary education that include grants and bursaries (which you wouldn’t have to pay back) but there are 2 main types of student loan – the Federal and Provincial programs. Whichever type of loan you wish to apply for it all has to be started off by applying to the Provincial/Territorial Assistance office for the Province you are officially a resident of.

The main attraction of a student loan is that although they are REAL loans that do have to be repaid, they are interest free while you remain enrolled in an eligible education program. Once you graduate/leave education the repayment terms are set (normally low interest and you agree the repayment term) and you begin to pay them back. Banks and other lending establishments are no longer involved in offering new loans as all funding is provided by the federal or provincial governments.

Quebec, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are NOT involved in the Canada Student Loans program and have their own systems. If you are a resident of one of these 3 provinces or Territories then you need to contact the particular office for that Province.

To start the ball rolling with the application for a loan there are several processes that you should consider. Your eligibility is the most important – both you (the applicant) and the course you wish to undertake must meet the criteria laid down.

The applicant: The main factor of eligibility is whether you are intending to be a full or part time student. If you are a part time student (20 – 59% of full course load) you may only apply for federal assistance though you would apply through the provincial/territorial assistance office.

A full time student (60% + of a full course load) may apply through the same offices but will be considered for both Federal and Provincial support (depending upon the province in question) though this would have to repay both the loans. The difference between the Provinces and Territories is prevalent here as these provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon all would entail paying the loans back separately. If you are from Ontario or Saskatchewan then you would make one payment back to the NSLSC which would cover the total amount borrowed from both the federal and provincial programs.

The course you wish to enroll on must be listed on the Master List of Designated educational Institutions – it is strongly advised that you ensure the establishment you wish to attend is recognized by your provincial provider and the course choices meet the necessary requirements before you commit to it. This also applies if you wish to attend an overseas establishment.

Your personal financial status will determine the amount of assistance you will be offered with the Federal loan system covering up to 60% of the total you are assessed as needing and the provincial system contributing up to the remaining 40%. Your “needs” are assessed by the provincial office when you apply as they handle the initial application and will forward you the loan documents. Once the Provincial or territorial Student Assistance office has received and processed your application, it will establish the amount of loan you are entitled to apply for and carry out credit checks. Once approved, your Canada Student Loan will be administered by the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) through to its termination (full repayment).

This agency is responsible for all loans supplied since 1st August 2000 and has two distinct sections. The Public Institutions Division (looking after anyone attending a course at a Public facility such as a University or Community college) and the Private Institutions Division (for those who are receiving instruction at a privately funded facility like a technical college or trade school).

Popular Misconceptions About Guaranteed Loans

It should be noted that when a ‘guaranteed’ loan is mentioned, it does not carry an automatic reference to either a student loan, or a government loan. Other loans are liberally advertised as ‘guaranteed’ – if you meet the certain criteria- that is. However, you have to fulfill a very long list of prerequisites, and fit a potentially longer list of different specific parameters in order to qualify for either student or government loan in the first place.

Interestingly enough, both types of loan are currently under fire, and are making rare, if not dignified appearances in headlines across continents. U.S. guaranteed student loans system is put through the wash, with critics claiming that it is so thoroughly costly, incompetent and over-all corrupt that is should be demolished and rebuild from scratch, rather than being somehow fixed. “The Federal Family Education Loan program, otherwise known as the guaranteed-student-loan program, is unnecessarily expensive, structurally broken, and rife with corruption. It is increasingly clear that our convoluted federal student-loan delivery system, through which private lenders provide government-backed loans to students, cannot be fixed by incremental reform,” writes Thomas Petri. Many seem to agree with his verdict; in fact, if endless streams of student petitions and protests are any indication of the problem, than plain math and solid figures offer the hard evidence.

The second type of the guaranteed loan to make a splash in headlines was government-backed agricultural loan, for which First Capital Bank of Guthrie managed to slightly overcharge the rates for a brief spell of twelve years. The bank has chosen to cash out $1.4 million to settle the lawsuit, rather than fight in court the “baseless” charges. It appears that besides the label ‘guaranteed’ both types of loans do have more in common.

Another popular form of a ‘guaranteed’ loan is a slight misconception; that what people like to think of as a ‘guaranteed’ loan, or a ‘guaranteed’ rate, is typically a pre-qualification for a specific loan. This mistake is common. A guaranteed loan would imply that a lender feels so certain about a potential customer, what he approaches the said customer with an offer to acquire a certain product, and a definite promise to deliver that product at the promised price at any time. Needless to say that for a wide variety of reasons (ranging from inflation and the law of probability to highly complicated statistic calculations), this scenario is next to not-existent in the financial service industry. Pre-qualification, on the other hand, is fairly common, highly convenient for all parties involved, and is usually that what vast majority of population call ‘guaranteed’ rate or loan.

Pre-qualification means that certain information about the applicant is provided for the loan officer and the tentative loan decision is made. The borrower is typically asked about their credit standing, as well as information such as their employment, assets and income information. Based on this information, the applicant will be told the amount and the interest rate of the loan he pre-qualified for. This offer is tentative, because no credit check is carried out up until this point, and should the borrower decide to accept the proposed loan, a credit check will be carried out by the lender to confirm the borrower’s credibility. Pre-qualification (for a loan) is the least acclaimed form of a ‘guaranteed loan’ that hasn’t made the news – yet.

Build A Business From Scratch

My passions have always been gardening and painting. The two seem to go together and this was born out when starting a business in landscaping. It was natural to paint a picture of the finished design in my head. This led me to undertake counseling for those who could not imagine what a garden should look like. My long-standing interest in the outdoors held me in good stead as my little fingers were always in dirt from the time I could toddle.

Once advertising started and my first consulting job came to me it led to other things. The lady was so impressed with what she was offered that she paid me $400 to draw a plan of it. This was something right up my ally.

Putting my imagination to work the plan was a great success and before long there were some 2-3 per week along with consulting jobs. The main requiring for doing something like this is confidence. If one shows that they know what they are talking about and can satisfy their client with quality work, then it has to be a success.

Of course my enterprising didn’t stop there. The main point of this article is that people need to step out of their comfort zone and use their hobbies and interests to build a business. They have to start from scratch to do it but if they have enough confidence and knowledge they will success.

Mistakes will happen and that is the learning curve one has to go through. Costs of consulting work doesn’t have to be over the top as there is no outlay to doing it. Start small and build up. For consulting my charge was $75 and that is more than affordable when most landscape designers might charge 10 times that much for the same advice.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioral problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.

Bring Your App Business on the Right Track

Every entrepreneur seeks to know the secret recipe for success. What strategies are made to increase the conversion rate? What are the exciting ideas that can be implemented to make the company grow? It is super strategies that create opportunities for a company. There are always some brand new ideas that you can implement to grow your business. However, not all the existing tricks will give your business a boost. It is only when the right strategies are followed at the right time and the right place that you end up having a revenue-generating business.

If you have an app business, here are 5 strategies you can follow to make sure that your business climbs the ladder of success. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Know the Purpose

To start with, in your mobile app business, it is vital to know the purpose behind the creation of an app and the audience for whom the app is created. The advantages and the true value of the app shall not be confined to the number of features it has and rather on how the user experience is. One of the most significant factors in creating compelling apps is close collaboration among developers, the quality analysis team, and designers.

2. All About Planning

It is the business plans that earn you profits. Only with clear objectives can you come up with the most suitable solutions required by customers. When it comes to creating successful apps, it definitely requires sharp focus. The complexity of a mobile app can be huge but fundamentally, an app must be designed by having an understanding of the real world. Moreover, to come up with engaging apps, it is also important to identify the exact expectations of users. So you see that accurate planning is vital for creating successful apps.

3. Choose Your Platforms Wisely

A significant part of sales depends on how you reach out to your target audience and you basically have to connect with them in the best way possible. Unlike websites, mobile applications are designed for various platforms. These days, there are multiple devices and multiple vendors. For instance, most smartphone users make use of iOS devices and others go for iPhones. Thus, the process of app development completely depends on how customer engagement can be carried out on different platforms.

4. Cross-Check the Intuitiveness of the App

Do you think that the app that you design will help in making your client’s life easier and happier? Once you design an instinctive app, it can end up giving an amazing experience to its users. Apart from integrating notable UX designs and streamlined functions, it is equally important to check whether an app is responsive enough and provides suitable performance to cater to the needs of the user. Also, ensure that the app is free from bugs.

5. Promote Your App

Promotion plays an integral role in boosting your app business. One of the most significant factors behind the popularity of an app is the way it is promoted. Adequate promotion of an app through reviews, ratings, video teasers, recordings, and social media posts helps to create a buzz among the target audience.

When it comes to the app business, the competition is stiff and if you fail to follow the right strategies, you may end up causing your app to lose its visibility among an extensive range of audience. So, follow the sure-shot strategies stated above and ensure the success of your app.

The Ways to Improve Fundraising

Donor management is never easy no matter how easy it may seem; there is always some information that you will need to get and some that you will need to impart in order to learn some of the best ways of it.

In the many things about donor management the one that counts to be the most important of all is improving fundraising and getting into the skills of it all for the best results. Here in this article are the ways you need to follow and imbibe to improve the fundraising program for your nonprofit or church.

1. Be Transparent with Your Donors – Though this might seem like an obvious point, it is usually the one that is most ignored, and the most important of all. What is important about transparency is your donors being able to trust you with all – from your plans to our ideas and ideologies. Also, this is an important point to note because only when they trust you will they be able to steward their money well and you must be able to show them you are doing so. By ‘transparent’ we mean both financial and program transparency.

Financial Transparency: You might not be considering financial transparency to be an important point but this should definitely be on your list of important things. It is considered important to release a note time to time which would show how you are allocating your funds, but your donors are not going to sit and read through that long document. Make sure you give your donors an easy way to digest how you are investing their money. Create a graph, chart, infographic etc. And if it looks like you spent more in say, fundraising, than expected, explain why. Your donors love your mission and giving them a peek behind the curtain creates a sense of belonging and teamwork.
Program Transparency: Program transparency is all about the IMPACT. If you can show your donors the impact their money has made in changing the lives of those you’re serving or where the money has impacted, you can be sure you’ve done your thing right. Create annual reports showing the graphs of how far you’ve come with the support, meanwhile mentioning exactly where you want more changes and where you’re striving to achieve more.

2. Optimize our Donor Experience – Your donors shouldn’t be there for just one years or only a period of time, and that is possible only if you manage to optimize the donor experience convincing them that there are things that’ll help you stay in contact for more than one donation period. Try personalization (which definitely does no longer mean just hey and the first name); it is always recommended to stay in touch with the donors through emails, letters and phone calls. You can segment based on last gift amount, last gift date, a specific campaign – anything. And then create fundraising messaging around each category.

3. Audit Your Systems – Thought this is not important? Wrong!!! One of the most important points to be considered to improve fundraising is to audit your system – audit on your end – use the right set of tool and the right techniques. Keep the audit impartial and keep it clear – this will help you understanding how far you’ve come with your fundraising program and exactly how far you will be able to go with it.

Fundraising for churches, charities and non profits is the thing that does the most benefit and an increase in the finds over a stipulated period of time is exactly what they’re striving for. It is therefore recommended that you use these set of tips mentioned above and create a draft accordingly of you new ideas and plans for an increase in the funds.

Different Applications Of An Industrial

An industrial oven is like a heated chamber that is used for a number of applications and also considered as thermal processing machines. A number of industries demand for the device and their need varies as per their application. Every single person when heard about the oven, so, they think of baking food in the kitchen, but, no it has many other applications other than just baking, which increases its demand in the market and especially in the industrial sectors. In case you are not aware of any of its applications, so, here we are to help you out. Read the article below and get to know about its wide applications that help you know a bit more about the device and its requirement in the different industries.

Here Are Some Common Application Of Industrial Ovens:

Powder Coating: Powder coating is important to create an extra layer of protection to the object and powder coating ovens are used for such coating, as it helps in heating to fuse into a layer when the desired temperature is reached.
Drying: The application of drying means removal of moisture from products before packing them, which ensure their long-life. And Drying Ovens are the ones that are designed for the same purpose and very helpful in removing the moisture.
Baking: Baking application here means the baking of the final products, which is performed by the industrial oven by incorporating the function of curing and drying as well. The device successfully performs this function because of its heated chamber that is meant to use for such purposes.
Curing: Another application for which an industrial oven used is curing. The device mainly coated the material to a specific temperature and holds it for a longer period.
Sterilizing: Last but not the least is sterilization. Yes, Industrial Ovens mainly the Hot Air ones are used for the purpose of sterilizing laboratory and surgical equipment like Scalpels, Spatula, Surgical Blades, and Glass Syringes, etc. The device uses dry heat to perform the process of sterilization.

Each of its application requires a specific amount of heat and different type of industrial oven and therefore, considering your application is important before investing in the device. To get a quality and feature-rich device, you should buy it from a reliable company that offers only the quality solutions. The device is available at reasonable price and offers you plenty of benefits and aids you attain your industry requirement.

Business Package Become A Casualty

Every holiday season, from late October through January, finding a reliable courier or shipping company can become a nightmare. Time sensitive packages are not always given top priority by the big courier services because of their high demand for deliveries during the holidays.

Businesses who rely on courier services throughout the year know the holiday season will become a problem for them due to the overwhelming of daily consumer shipments. Whether it’s a gift being delivered across the country or a medical lab needing sensitive packages transported a few miles away, all packages are treated the same. That means without proper care!. How many times have you seen “FRAGILE” on a package only to receive it smashed. It almost seems some courier services enjoy damaging packages. They think tossing it into the back of the truck is careful. Or rolling it like a bowling ball is fun. Well, not to the medical labs, dental offices, hospitals or other businesses that hope their package is treated with care.

Unlike a consumer who can pre-schedule their package to be delivered, many businesses do not have that luxury. Flexible delivery dates are not part of the business world. Too often a special delivery package needs to be sent within a few miles. It could be within a 100 mile radius or just a 10 mile distance. No matter how far, the package needs to get there NOW.

Don’t wait for your packages to have these issues with your existing courier service during the holiday season. One reason why this happens is they hire temporary drivers and those drivers might not be familiar with the area. And more than likely, they are paid by the hour, so what’s another hour or two on the road to them it’s more money! Managing time-sensitive packages like medical supplies, medial lab tests, or legal documents can get lost easily during this busy season. Local same day courier services are small enough yet large enough to give you the personal care for all same day deliveries.

Isn’t it be time you find a local courier service that is reliable and doesn’t hire temporary drivers? If your business has packages that need to be delivered within 100 miles, ask your business friends on who they use for their deliveries and if they are satisfied. Be sure they have a solid reputation with medical labs, hospitals, pharmacies, dental labs and other businesses that require sensitive packages to be delivered on-time. Many businesses require same day delivery!

Using Advertising Flags to Increase Your Sales

If you are going to establish a new business, know that it is not going to be an easy job. Starting a business is not about setting up a new office. As a matter of fact, the most difficult part of running a new business is getting it promoted the right way. Nowadays, you can use advertising flags for the promotion of your products and services. You can find a lot of promotional tools in the here and now. As far as choosing marketing tools is concerned, you have a lot of things to choose from. One way is to use advertising flags. Let us know more.

Advertising flags

Since technology has introduced so many ways of promoting products and services, the conventional methods have experienced a drop in popularity. They have not lost their usefulness but new methods have rose in popularity with the passage of time. Flags for advertising were used in the past and they are still very effective.

If you have made your mind to make use of this marketing tool for your business, we suggest that you learn to use them well. Given below are some tips that may help you.

Offer discounts

You can make your customers glad by offering special discounts. And for this purpose, this tool can work in an effective manner. All you have to do is put these flags on the sales counter or other areas of your office or store. The thing is that you have to place them somewhere where they can catch the eyes of the visitors.

New products or services

Another way to use them is to put them outside your physical store like the car roofs, hotels, shopping malls, busy streets and restaurants, just to name a few. if you have a new product or service to promote or you want to give a huge discount, this marketing tool can help you a lot. Just put them somewhere where you know that a lot of people see them.

Online business

The use of advertising flags is not limited to new launches and deals. You can also use them for improving your web presence, and endorsing different contests, just to name a few.

Trade shows and exhibitions

If you are going to take part in a big exhibition or show, you may be excited to see a huge audience. You may want to let the people know about your presence or participation in the event. If your prospective customers don’t know about you, they are not going to get in touch with you. Therefore, what you need to do is make them aware of your presence in an easy way. And one way of doing so is to use a promotional flag. All you have to do is put them up at the right place so that others could see it.

Business Growth Leveraging Your Personal Brand

Marketing is like sex. Everyone thinks they’re good at it.

– Steve Tobak

We are in a golden age of solopreneurs: independent, innovative experts who are turning the traditional working model on its head. No longer content with working under layers of organizational management, workers around the globe are increasingly making the decision to take full control of their careers. To carve their own niche and capitalize on their skills. To join the solo revolution.

And you are one of them. A revolutionary!

Creating your own brand has never been easier. With the explosion of social media, solopreneurs have immediate access to billions of people around the world. You can speak directly to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Likewise, the number of services and products consumers have instant access to is infinite. Neither business nor buyer is bound by location anymore.

It is an incredibly liberating age. But it’s also one that some entrepreneurs and businesses find overwhelming.

We’re Living in a Digital-First World

In his book Ctrl Alt Delete, Mitch Joel discusses the term “digital first”. He reveals the five key movements that organizations must embrace to future-proof themselves – or go out of business. One of these shifts is the fact that now, the first place your brand and business are validated is online. Essentially, the internet and social media have the power to make or break your chances of success.

Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of how to cultivate a successful business by leveraging digital media. Born in the Soviet Union in 1975, Vaynerchuk immigrated to the United States in 1978. From humble beginnings, his father went on to own a liquor store in New Jersey. In the early days of the digital-first world, Vaynerchuk could see the burning potential of his father’s business. After graduating from college, Vaynerchuk transformed the liquor shop into a retail wine store, which he named the Wine Library. In 2006, he started a daily video blog, Wine Library TV. This hugely popular webcast turned him into an internet celebrity. It attracted 90,000 viewers a day and led to a flurry of TV and speaking engagements. In just six years, Vaynerchuk grew the family business from $1 million a year to a whopping $50 million a year.

Not too bad for a small family business, right?

So, as you can see, traditional marketing has been blown out of the water. We’re no longer restricted to cold calling and setting up meeting after meeting to generate leads and sales. Digital marketing has opened an array of cost-effective avenues for self-promotion and lead generation. Sales are now about leveraging your social networks, engaging with people online and educating.

This is, essentially, the social sales model: (see link below)

Today, the businesses and entrepreneurs that make the most impact on their audiences are role models. They’re trusted advisers who create tribes – powerful online communities that help their brands grow. They educate and provide solutions. They’ve jumped on board the social sales train and embrace the connection economy whole-heartedly. Because if you don’t, you get left behind.

But we can’t rest on our laurels. We must build on this massive sales reform and look to the future. We must become industry ambassadors. We must become thought leaders who engage meaningfully with our followers, share generously of our expertise and regard our audiences not just as leads or dollar signs, but as lifetime partnerships.

Why Stand Out from the Crowd

Solopreneurs are the way of the future. They account for 61% of Australian businesses[1]. And with the advent of freelance sites such as Upwork, 99designs, Freelancer and Airtasker, an increasing number of Australians are freelancing. According to freelance marketplace Elance-oDesk, 30% of the Australian workforce – or 3.7 million people – undertake some sort of freelance work[2].

Digital marketing presents an enormous opportunity for solopreneurs. According to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, the average person spends two hours a day on the internet. Furthermore, IBM’s Global CEO Study found that CEOs believe social media utilization for customer engagement will increase by 256% over five years. This means social media will become the second-most popular way to engage customers after face-to-face communication.

Social media has created a level playing field. It’s cheap and readily available. You don’t need large amounts of money to build a business. You don’t even need an existing client base – you can start one from scratch online. The internet has given everyone the potential to create a successful solo business.

But there’s a downside to this equal opportunity. Despite the accessibility of social media, one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs continue to face is finding leads and retaining clients.

The digital marketplace means you’re competing against everyone else with a business like yours. You can’t simply create a LinkedIn or Facebook account and expect clients to come to you. How will they know you’re there? What makes you stand out? When everyone else is pushing their own unique selling point, what will make people choose you?

In a world where customers have immediate access to information on every kind of business around the world, it’s hard to cut through the noise. To gain that competitive edge, you must create a connection.

Being a solopreneur is not enough. You must bond with your audience by offering more than your products and services alone. You need to educate, lead and gain trust. You need to make a real difference to the lives of your clients.

Position, Position, Position

Positioning is fundamental to creating trust and having influence. It’s more than just creating an image. It’s about owning your space in your industry. It’s about flexing your expertise, starting conversations, changing the game, creating engaging content and enlightening others. It’s about being the go-to expert for peers and clients needing guidance.

And it’s what leads to sales.

When you have a rock-solid positioning, your return on investment is second to none. Digital media and technology company Burst Media’s 2014 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report found that on average, marketers who implemented an Influencer marketing program in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media.[3] The primary tools used in Influencer marketing were:

Blog posts
Social syndication and branded content distribution
Influencers and influential content

Blogs. Content. Social media. These are indispensable, cost-effective tools if you want to elevate your positioning from business owner to leading industry expert. And they are what will build your audience’s trust in you.