Fintech startups are providing a cheaper and more convenient alternative to big banks. What are fintech companies? They are financial companies that leverage new technology to offer better financial services to both consumers and businesses. These services include personal finance, consumer banking, lending, retail and institutional investments, equity financing, and more as fintech continues to grow.
With mobile apps, fintech customers can seamlessly move money around, send money to friends and family with their phones, and exchange foreign currency at the market rate without unwanted fees. They can set budgets, track spending and even freeze credit cards with the touch of a finger.
Fintech startups are also paving the way for low-cost intelligent portfolio platforms with financial and asset managers at a fraction of the cost charged by conventional institutions. So why aren’t people flocking to fintech? Fear.
Because fintech currently lacks the brand recognition of big banks, people are more comfortable with something familiar, whether or not it is bleeding their account with exorbitant service fees. However, as fintech becomes more prolific in the market, it definitely has the potential to give big banks a run for their money.
Aspiration Bank was founded in 2015 and has since become one of the fastest growing financial firms in America, adding thousands of new customers every week. Aspiration’s revolutionary “Pay What Is Fair” business model trusts customers to choose the fee they pay, even if it is zero.
By allowing its customers to pay what they think is fair, donating 10% of every dollar earned to charity, offering sustainable banking and investing options, and bringing high-quality financial products to all, Aspiration is revolutionizing the financial industry and changing it for the better.
The company recently launched a new Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) feature of its mobile banking app that allows customers to see their own personal Sustainability Score and the impact of their spending on people and the planet. Aspiration is also one of the most charitable financial firms in America, donating 10% of its earnings to microloans and mentoring for low-income Americans.
Aspiration also partners with the Sierra Club and its fossil fuel-free, sustainable investment strategy (available at a minimum investment of $100) is the top performing sustainable investment fund in America over the past year. Aspiration’s checking account was named “Best Checking Account in America” by Money magazine.
44 million Americans have a side hustle to increase savings or pay down debts. What is a side hustle? Leveraging today’s technology, a side hustle could be anything from teaching people to make sourdough bread to building websites.
A good side hustle is something you are motivated to stick with. If there isn’t a powerful “why am I doing this?,” the temptation to sit on the couch and watch Netflix may become overpowering. So find something that really interests you.
One of the most common mistakes people make when starting a side hustle is not validating its need beforehand. Don’t sink a bunch of money into an idea until you have explored whether or not there is a market for it. You can do this easily by scanning social media and even posting questions as to whether anyone would be interested in what you have to offer.
To stay on track, find a peer group or accountability group online. Finally, make sure to do one proactive thing each day to move your side hustle forward before you dive into your daily routine. And stick with it, consistency pays off.
You can’t read the news these days without hearing about another cyber-attack. Though most of the hacks reported involve large multi-national corporations, small and medium sized businesses are increasingly suffering data breaches. As a result, cyber insurance is becoming a necessity to protect businesses from the financial fallout of cyber crime.
What does cyber insurance do? After a cyber attack, cyber insurance pays for the necessary IT professionals you’ll need to hire to conduct an investigation. If there is a ransom situation, cyber insurance helps hire negotiators and pays for any ransom demands if necessary.
Cyber insurance pays to repair, restore or replace systems, and recover data and websites damaged by a hack. It also covers legal fees and helps protect business reputation by covering PR specialists to run damage control on irate customers. While cyber insurance certainly cannot prevent an attack, it’s becoming an invaluable tool to help businesses recover from them.
There is a debate to be had about whether it is wise to send young people into higher education to study courses that saddle them with debt, and increasingly do not lead to remunerative employment upon graduation. It is becoming clear that something must be done. Britain is already heading in the same direction as the United States, where total outstanding student loan debt is approaching 7 per cent of GDP. And the UK is becoming like the US in other respects.
As has been the case in the United States since 2010, outstanding student loan debt in Britain has overtaken outstanding credit card debt. Although default rates are relatively low at present, they are likely to increase, as in America, where the default rate on student loans is 11.8 per cent and rising.
A longer-term solution will not only have to consider the finances of students and their families but also take into account the financial requirements of universities, for which tuition fees have provided a predictable income stream at a time when other costs, such as meeting pension obligations, are rising rapidly.
The Better Business Bureau warns that many consumers are being duped by phony student loan debt relief and credit repair schemes which are bilking millions of dollars from consumers. These companies employ such tactics as fraudulently advising student loan borrowers they will be enrolled in a loan forgiveness or payment reduction programs, with their monthly payments applied to their loans, while pocketing the payments.
They also falsely claim that they can provide credit repair services and improve consumers’ credit scores by charging illegal upfront fees and monthly payments.
According to the BBB, consumers seeking student loan and credit debt relief from a third party should never pay an upfront fee for the promise of debt relief and never agree to anything over the phone. Always request that the company send you their offer in writing, and then contact your loan servicing company to make sure the offer is legitimate.
Do not let anyone instruct you to stop making loan payments unless you work out terms directly with your student loan servicer.
While student loan payment options can be confusing, there are options that borrowers can exercise for free directly with their loan provider. Some companies say they can offer “relief” for student loan holders (for a fee), yet all they do is work with your loan servicer to secure a temporary deferment or forbearance, which is something consumers can do by themselves for free.
How Can I Find The Best Personal Loan? Customer’s Choice Top Loan Providers for The Second Quarter of 2017 – PR Newswire
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, empowering consumers as they comparison-shop across a full suite of loan and credit-based offerings. LendingTree provides free monthly credit scores through My LendingTree and access to its network of over 500 lenders offering home loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, business loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans and more.
Today, LendingTree released its quarterly list of the top customer-rated lenders on its network based on actual customer reviews for the second quarter of 2017. The list features the top lenders in multiple loan product categories, including mortgages, personal Loans, business loans and auto loans, all of which are included in LendingTree’s online loan marketplace.