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Categories
Finance

How to Get Help With Your Auto Loan During COVID-19

Auto Loan During Covid-19It seems like just a few weeks ago the world was a very different place. In fact, COVID-19 has been circulating the world now for nearly 10 months. There is little doubt many people’s lives have changed dramatically. Despite efforts by the government the unemployment rate is rising slowly.

But, even those lucky enough to still have jobs may have found their hours and earnings have been reduced.

That means if you have an auto loan or any other type of finance, you’ll be worrying about how to afford the loan repayment during the current pandemic.

Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help!

Check Your Finances

The first thing you should do is to check your finances and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. This may mean cutting the cable bill or looking for cheap car insurance. Every saving can help you to have more funds available for your auto loan.

Do a new budget and you may be surprised, you may be better off than you think.

Contact Your Lender

Whether you’ve got a personal loan or specific car finance, the next thing you need to do is contact your lender and tell them you’re having financial difficulties due to COVID-19.

Your lender may be much more sympathetic than you think. In fact, many auto loan providers are extending the payment periods, effectively reducing monthly payments but extending the term of the loan.

Others are freezing interest, waiving overdue fees, or creating personalized flexible payment arrangements. In some cases, if you’re in the right financial position, they will accept a smaller one-off amount to settle the loan, making the vehicle yours and reducing the stress of having to find the payment every month.

COVID Scheme

Many lenders are signed up to the COVID-19 deferral scheme. This means your payments will be deferred until you can afford them again. It allows you to keep the vehicle without damaging your credit and settle the balance in the future.

Sell The Car

It’s not necessarily a great market to sell a vehicle. But, if you have a personal auto loan that is not secured on the vehicle you will be within your rights to sell the car. You can then use the proceeds to settle your outstanding loan and hopefully purchase a cheap car, eliminating the issue for now.

It is important you verify that you are legally allowed to sell the car first!

The Takeaway

It’s impossible to say what your auto loan provider will do as everyone’s situation is different. However, most lenders are being very supportive during this difficult time and will work with you to find a suitable solution.

In short, your first step needs to be establishing your finances to confirm what you have available. Then, talk to your auto loan provider and prepare to be surprised.

Of course, loan deferrals and reduced payments still mean you have to pay the full amount of the loan. You may even need to pay more interest. It’s important to consider this when making your final decision regarding the best route for you.

Categories
Legal

What Are the Requirements for USCIS Birth Certificate Translation?

USCIS birth certificate translation requirements are particular. For immigration purpose, you often must submit copies of personal documents, like birth or marriage certificates.

Professional USCIS Birth Certificate Translations

The best way to make sure your translations for USCIS are done accurately is to use a translation agency experienced with certified translations. Professional agencies that are familiar with immigration problems will make sure that your documents are relevant to USCIS.

By submitting correctly translated documents the first time, you can avoid issues like delayed processing times or receiving the request for evidence.

The USCIS certified translations as: “All documents submitted in support of an application or petition must include a comprehensive translation into English. Also, there must be a certificate of accuracy from the translator showing that the translation is true and correct and attesting to his or her ability as a translator.”

uscis birth certificate translation

An explanation of the requirements for USCIS certified birth certificate translation:

  • Format

The certificate must be translated entirely and quickly, including signatures, stamps, dashes, etc. The translation must match the visible format of the certificate; for example, marks should be in the same places. If something isn’t fair, then the English translation requires to say “not legible.”

  • Accuracy

Accuracy is essential when dealing with official government documents. It is necessary to make sure that the translations that you submit are as accurate as possible.

  • Notarization

If the certificate is being submitted to USCIS, the certified translation does not have to be notarized. However, if the certificate is being presented outside of the U.S., for instance, to a foreign Consulate or Embassy, then it must be notarized.

  • Extracts

Sometimes the entire certificate is too lengthy and filled with irrelevant information. In such cases, an official selection can be used instead. These are adequate only if the selection includes all the essential information required to decide on a state. For instance, a genuine extract of a birth certificate which completely recognizes the child’s parents may be related in the help of a visa petition, while one that only places the child’s name, date of birth and birthplace may not. Also, only extracts made by an authorized official are acceptable. Just a simple review of a certificate prepared by a translator will not be accepted.

But What If the Birth Certificate Is Not in English?

Requirements of USCIS birth certificate translation states that all forms must be presented in English. Any immigration documents or affidavits also be in English. If any needed documents are not in English, USCIS requires that a certified translation is presented as well.

What If a Birth Certificate Is Not Accessible?

If a birth certificate is not accessible from the government, a notarized affidavit with the correct data is needed from one of the parents. If the parents are not alive, then any older family relative can give the affidavit.

The affidavit must include the following information:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ full names
  • Parents’ dates of birth
  • Parents’ place of birth
  • Parents’ date of marriage

The affidavit must be completed by a certificate from the government stating that no record of the birth certificate is available. If a parent or another relative provide the affidavit, it also must say the connection with the candidate and how well the family knows the candidate. The affidavit and any accompanying detail will need to be translated before listing with immigration certificates.

Always remember that birth certificates issued by consulates and embassies are not valid for immigration goals, as officials extract information from your passport to make the certificate and no legal record is reviewed for correctness.

If you have an immigration concern that needs you to get a birth certificate translated from a foreign language into English, contact professional translation companies. They are expert in providing USCIS birth certificate translation services. They know the requirements of immigration for foreign-language documents.

Categories
Travel and Tours

Here are 3 Ways You Can Travel Cheap

Sometimes when we are scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, we cannot help but imagine ourselves in those photos. Lounging about on the beach, hiking high up the mountains, or even sunbathing by the pool on the cruise ship. The thing about traveling is, it is much too costly to undertake if one does not have the funds to prepare for it. Other than the expenses a person will incur on the travel itself, there are visas to get, documents like a cruise travel insurance to buy, and not to mention the hotel accommodation once you are there.

It seems, for some of us, traveling can be a bit of a problem. However, there are ways in which we can lessen the costs of our travels. For visas and insurance, we might not be able to haggle our way through that; but for everything else, there is a solution!

Travel Cheap
Image by pexels

Here we list down ways in which you can travel cheap without compromising the quality of your trip.

Find out if it is cheaper to travel solo or in groups

The way to do this is to look into travel tour packages and airline promos. There are days when these will offer a bundle for really good trips, which already includes the airline tickets, the tour fees, and the accommodation. Sometimes these promos are offered as a group package, meaning you will have to rope in your friends or family to get the discounted amount. Other times, the promos are for solo travellers. You will have to decide which one you would prefer first and then proceed to look for deals to make it happen.

Consider road trip travels

This is going to be the most affordable way to travel, and the most fun, too! You can automatically choose to do this with friends who have been itching to get away from the city. The expenses you will incur will most likely only include the gas (or the car if you are going to rent one), food, and travel paraphernalia. Everything else is available to you for free.

Do a house-swap

One of the trends nowadays is AirBnB, a website that offers a line-up of houses that are up for rent exclusively for travellers. These are pretty cheap, and if you have been on the website, you will see that it shows you houses that will fit your budget. However, there is another way for you to go about it, and it will probably prove cheaper for your travels; or even better, the accommodation might be for free. House-swapping has the same basic principle: private houses will be available for travellers on a specified number of days. But instead of renting it out, you can just swap with them! It is a win-win situation if you think about it because both parties will get the chance to travel.

Of course, security is still of utmost importance. So Google trusted websites the offer home exchange services and screen candidates as thoroughly as you can.

When it comes to traveling, our efforts to make it more affordable for us should not affect the quality of our trip. These tips will surely take the weight off of our wallets quite a bit and allow us to enjoy a trip that we will surely remember for ages.

Categories
Health and Fitness

The Healthiest Beverages That You Can Consume

Healthiest Beverages

Many people get bored of consuming water only and are always looking for healthier alternatives. What do you do when you want healthy beverages but do not want to wander away from the healthy side of things?

Here are some of the healthiest beverages that you can drink:

Pomegranate Juice:

Pomegranate Juice
Image by Flickr

Pomegranates have been praised consistently for the massive amounts of antioxidants they contain. The red juice that is extracted from the fruit can help in preventing heart disease, inflammation, and cancer. Therefore, having a glass is good for you.

However, you should make sure that you are drinking pure pomegranate juice because some bottles have added sugars or other unsafe chemicals. To make sure that you are drinking the real thing, you should make your own pomegranate juice.

Green Tea:

Green Tea
Image by pexels

A cup of green tea is refreshing, especially in the afternoon when you are feeling sleepy. Whenever you are feeling tired, you should drink green tea because it has just enough caffeine to liven you up but not too much to make you crash later. Moreover, you will be consuming a load of antioxidants in each cup.

Coffee:

Coffee
Image by pexels

No matter how many times you have heard that it is not, coffee is actually a healthy drink. It contains many antioxidants, making it a great choice of drink. Coffee also has many nutrients, including manganese, niacin, and riboflavin. Coffee has numerous health benefits: it has been shown to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and depression.

According to Jeff Bickley, the founder of Gayo Kopi, If you’re a fan of specialty coffee, you should try kopi luwak: it’s a tasty indulgence with a one-of-a-kind story.

Orange Juice:

Orange Juice
Image by pexels

A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice hits the sweet spot, but it takes forever to make. If you feel that it takes too long to squeeze a full glass of OJ, you should save it for when it will be more useful, like during the allergy season.

Seasonal allergies can be soothed by quercetin and vitamin C, which can be found in orange juice.

Beet Juice:

Beet Juice
Image by pixabay

Beetroot juice has a very impressive list of benefits. It has the ability to lower blood pressure, increase blood flow to the brain in older people, increase stamina, and makes for a very healthy liver thanks to its high levels of iron, magnesium, and calcium. Beetroot also has zero saturated fats and trans fats.

Kale Juice:

Kale Juice
Image by Flickr

Everyone loves kale, and although it might seem infuriatingly trendy, there is a reason why many people are turning to this vegetable. This dark, leafy green is full of minerals and vitamins that help with a number of things from regulating your bowels to improving your bone health.

Drinking veggie juice is the best way to get multiple servings of nutrients in one drink. Just make sure that you steer clear of bottled varieties as they tend to be high in sodium. You should instead invest in a juicer and start making your own juice at home.

Lemon Juice:

Lemon Juice
Image by pexels

You need to drink lemon juice, not lemonade. As disgusting as it sounds, drinking lemon juice takes care of the gross stuff such as stimulating bile production and cleansing the liver. Lemon also has vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. You should not drink it on its own; you can squeeze it into a glass of water.

Ginger Tea:

Ginger Tea
Image by pexels

Ginger is a good remedy for tummy problems. It is used to sooth an upset tummy, ease digestion, and relieve motion sickness. You can make a cup of ginger tea by steeping slices of gingerroot in hot water. If the drink is too spicy, you can add a spoon of honey.

Categories
Business

Is your SME protected from business fraud?

For many businesses, both large and small, fighting fraud can seem like a constant battle.
Fraud affects 1 in 4 small businesses every year. In the last year alone fraud losses to SMEs were estimated at £18.9 billion, proving that no business is too small to be targeted.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to take control of your business and help to protect the revenue, reputation and long-term health that could be at risk through fraud. Risk is inevitable in business dealings, but you must be aware how to assess and reduce those risks wherever possible.

The latest research has shown that 63% of SMEs that had experienced fraud were concerned about being targeted again. Although, shockingly, a large portion of these victims underestimate the risk, with one in ten failing to take action after suffering a breach. Other findings include:

  • Businesses trading online are 11% more likely to experience fraud
  • 23% of SMEs reported that they had experienced computer hacking at some time, making it the most common crime type. It was also the crime that caused the most concern, with 55% of SMEs either very or quite concerned about it. This was followed by card fraud (19%) and employee fraud (18%).
  • Around 12% of fraud victims reported losing more than 1% of their annual turnover
  • Only 53% of businesses report a fraud after it takes place.

SME

Whilst all businesses are different, there are general principles that can be applied regardless of size or function. The information below will give you an overview of the actions you need to take, and help you to adopt a general mind-set of awareness and action to protect vulnerable areas of your business.

1. Assess your risks

Complete a risk assessment to identify areas where potentially sensitive or valuable information is being held, and could be at risk. By identifying what data is attractive to criminals (such as customer data), you will be in a much better position to take the right precautions to keep it safe. Make sure you are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) which are designed to ensure that you’re processing and storing customer card data as securely as possible. Also, seek to understand the risks areas that are specific to your business, and ensure your systems and controls target and manage those risks.

Having a written data handling process will set out who has access to information and at what level, how it is kept secure and how clients’ privacy is protected. Confidentiality agreements are vital for the people who are able to see this information.

Unfortunately, employee fraud is the most common and often the most damaging type of fraud, so be careful who has access to your company accounts and do a background check on anyone who will be able to move money around within your business.

2. Get tech savvy

Ask your web developer how they are protecting customer information, including personally identifiable data. Web developers should also frequently conduct patch management, monitor your site for suspicious activity and regularly search for traces of malware.

Make sure that all firewalls and antivirus software is up to date on all your devices. For example, if you have your desktop computer thoroughly protected but your linked tablet is wide open, you’re still running a risk.

Also be aware of any suspicious online transactions. These may include outlying high-value orders, or uncharacteristic behaviour from existing clients. Be sure to check out any missing information, too, such as different shipping and billing addresses, and local credit cards but overseas customers. It usually only takes a quick email or phone call to verify the details and establish whether or not the order is authentic.

3. Stay vigilant

Security isn’t a one-off cost, but an on-going series of actions. It’s the single most important investment into the future of your business. Keep up to date on the latest security threats and solutions, and maintain an open dialogue with your whole team. This will ensure that you stay protected even as the landscape changes.

Stay alert, because in the event that your data is compromised, events may snowball and lead to further, irreparable damage. For more information on how to prevent this, have a look at this handy government source: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/118453/sme-fraud-segmentation.pdf

What if the fraud is coming from INSIDE my company?

Managing the risks within small and medium-sized businesses should be high on the list of priorities for owners and managers, because although large companies can be greatly affected by fraud, SMEs can be destroyed by it. And no fraud is as damaging as internal fraud.

Here’s a difficult question: Do you trust all your staff implicitly?

Frauds are often simple and succeed because the fraudster is trusted, and is therefore never challenged or checked. But here are some simple measures you can take to avoid this:

  • Segregate duties. No one should have control over all of the accounting functions of the business.
  • The bookkeepers work should be checked by directors. For example, the payroll should occasionally be reviewed prior to payment, and a system should be in place for recording and authorising overtime.
  • Review payments. Put a proper system in place for reviewing and authorising payments to suppliers.

The overall impact on a business after discovering a fraud will always be greater than the fraudster’s gain. Implementing even the most basic of security measures can ensure that even in the event of a breach, you are in the best possible position to continue trading and diminish the financial and reputational impact on your business.

There is significant support available to small businesses who are at risk from fraud or online crime. Action Fraud is a national service for individuals and businesses alike where you can report fraud, and obtain information on how best to protect yourself.

You can find more tips and advice from Opus Energy, specialists in supplying business energy, on brighterbusiness.co.uk