Intellectual Property for Beginners

Switching so many hats at home and work to get it all done puts Catholic biz moms at risk of overlooking important, non-urgent tasks.

Managing your intellectual property (IP) easily tops the list of ignored activities.

Understanding intellectual property basics now could save you a lot of money and heartbreak in the future.

So what is IP? Guy McClung, patent and copyright lawyer, defines intellectual property as “non-real, non-dirt, non-physical intangible personal property resulting from mental processes”.

Atty McClung distinguishes the four types of intellectual property:

Trademarks – a symbol or logo that identifies your company (trade names, trade dress)

Trade Secrets – anything of value to your company that you wouldn’t give to somebody for free. These include the people you include to buy supplies, customer list-anything of value like a device or process, a compilation of information

Copyrights – apply to works of authorship (paintings, artworks, reports, brochures, books-anything produced that can be copied)
Patents – deal with inventions (things, process, methods)
Still not jumping off the couch to jump to action?

Here’s why you need to have an intellectual property plan:

Short-term Gain for Long Term Pain – Neglecting your IP needs now could mean that years down the road as your business and brand blossoms, you could be required to change the name or logo of your business should you be in violation of the intellectual property of another. This may have a disastrous effect on your following and your bottom line.

Giving It Away for Free – Ignorance and inaction about Copyright Laws could land you with screwed book deals where you could lose the rights to your published signature systems. You could also have your content stolen without credit or compensation simply because you failed to include a copyright symbol at the bottom of every document, website, and social media site.

Giving Away the Farm – Not recognizing what trade secrets you have and how to keep them protected could easily leave you with former employers without signed disclosure statements walking away with client lists, processes, procedures, and contact lists that took you years to accumulate. Even carelessness with computer security protection could compromise your intellectual property in the hands of the wrong person.
Don’t get that itchy-”Oh no I’m doing a ton of stuff wrong feeling and I already have so much to do!”

An Intellectual Property Plan doesn’t have to be stressful.

For great suggestions on simple steps to take, listen to Guy’s interview on “Catholic Mompreneur’s on Fire” Blog Talk Radio Show.

Catholic Mompreneurs Biz and Life Tips: The best way to knock out and not neglect those non-urgent, important tasks is to block them out on your calendar. Be sure to schedule an hour to look at your intellectual property needs.

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Why Energy Efficient Windows Are a Clear Choice

Real quick…Here are seven reasons to install energy efficient windows:

Save energy
Save money from using less heating or AC
Add to appearance of the house
Protect a home’s interior furnishings from fading
Higher impact resistance
Make outside noise less audible
Insulate your home better, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer
With reasons like those, it’s no wonder energy efficient windows are all the rage. If your windows need to be repaired or even replaced, consider installing energy efficient windows.
How exactly do I pick out energy efficient windows?

When picking out energy efficient windows, you want to look for windows that are Energy Star certified.

Energy Star was developed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The government program’s purpose is to help individuals and organizations protect the environment through energy efficiency. The standard does not just apply to windows but to other products as well.

For the purpose of this article, we will be taking a look at windows that are Energy Star certified. What makes windows Energy Star certified? Any Energy Star product including windows must meet the following criteria:

Have an NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label. The NFRC tests the insulating quality of the entire window.
Be 40% more efficient than the product usually requires under most building codes.
Reduce energy bills by up to 15%.
Customers cannot just rely on the Energy Star label to pick out a good energy efficient window though. An important consideration for consumers is to select windows that are appropriate for the area of the country in which they live. Energy Star labels windows three ways:
“N” for northern climates
“S” for southern climates
“C” for central climates
The three types of windows are designed to address the heating or cooling concerns in each climate: mostly heating for the Northern Zone, mostly cooling for the Southern Zone, and both heating and cooling for the Central North Zone and Central South Zone.
How Energy Efficient Windows Improve the House Aside from saving energy, energy efficient windows are particularly fantastic in states that can get extremely cold. These windows work to make homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, which becomes particularly evident in states with very cold winters and states with extremely hot summers. With these windows insulating well, homeowners spend less on heating and air conditioning bills. Energy efficient windows also improve the house due to their attractive appearance, though not all energy efficient windows are the same. Homeowners have choices concerning main parts of the window, such as the frame, panes, and spacers.

Parts of the Window

The frame
Look for windows that have fiberglass, wood composites, or vinyl because these materials are better at insulating. One negative aspect of using wood material for framing is that wood can be difficult to maintain, often needing painting after a few years. Thus, if you choose to frame your windows using wood material, it’s advised to get some exterior vinyl or aluminum cladding to cover the wood frame.
Window Panes
If wondering whether having multiple window panes is preferred to having one window pane, remember the phrase ‘Two is Better than One’ or ‘The More the Merrier.’ Two panes of glass with space in between filled with air or krypton or argon insulates better than just one pane of glass does. Certain Energy Star windows have windows with three or more panes of glass, which do the best job of insulating and have greatest the impact resistance as well as improved energy efficiency. Another benefit of multiple panes is that they keep outside noise out better than a single glass pane does.
Low-E glass coating
Low-E coating is a special coating on the window that is great to have. It reflects infrared light to keep heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter. It also reflects ultraviolet light to protect a home’s interior furnishings from fading.
Warm Edge Spacers
Warm edge spacers are great for reducing heat flow and preventing condensation. Made of foam, steel, fiberglass, or vinyl, they keep a window’s glass panes the right distance apart.

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Why Is a Pre-Approved Auto Loan Better Than a Traditional Loan?

Do you remember the pain of abandoning your dream car because you couldn’t get an auto loan approval? It is hard to let go the dream of buying your favorite car. However, times have changed with the easy availability of a pre-approved auto loan.

With a pre-approved auto loan, you can get a clear picture of the approved loan amount. Also, the lender will give you assurance of paying money as and when required. It means that the loan program will make car buying process a piece of cake for you.

Eligibility Criteria for a Pre-Approved Auto Loan

You need to submit your financial documents to the lender. He will examine your credit ratings and banking activities in detail. After inspecting your financial situation, he will provide you with an approved loan amount for buying a car.

Why opt for a Pre-Approved Auto Loan?

The following points justify why one should opt for a pre-approved auto loan rather than applying for a traditional loan:

· Car Buying Process becomes Clear

After the lender assesses your credit ratings and banking details, you will get a clear idea of the maximum loan amount that he is ready to lend you. It makes choosing a car simple and clear. If your credit ratings are good and the lender approves you for a higher loan amount, you can buy your dream car.

On the other hand, if you apply for a traditional loan, you will have to choose the car first and then apply for an auto loan. And, if your credit ratings are not good, the lender may reject your loan application.

· It saves Time

What if the lender approves for a lower loan amount than you expected? Don’t worry! You can spend time in arranging money for the down payment amount. Applying for a pre-approved auto loan gives you adequate time for taking care of issues such as the down payment amount and the co-signer. Thus, it makes buying your dream car easy. The biggest problem with a traditional loan is that it doesn’t provide you with enough time to make arrangements for the down payment amount. Also, you need to make quick decisions in choosing a co-signer. If you are unable to secure the down payment amount and the co-signer, you will have to abandon your dream of buying a car.

· You can enjoy Low-Interest Rates

Lenders offer low-interest rates to car buyers who apply for a pre-approved auto loan. The reason is that they perform strict scrutiny on financial documents and approve loan application of people with low risk. As they are not worried about their investment, they are able to offer affordable interest rates. If you apply for a traditional loan, the interest rates will be high. It is because the loan program is not designed exclusively for you.

· Luxury of Time

Once you get a pre-approved auto loan, you get an assurance of getting money according to your requirements. Therefore, you can wait for festive offers and enjoy additional benefits or discounts.

On the other hand, approval on a traditional loan requires time. There are chances that you may not be able to enjoy the festive offers and discounts because of the long duration of the loan process.

· Negotiations becomes Easy

Getting a pre-approved auto loan is considered as having money in your hand. The dealer understands it and so, tries to sell you a car as quickly as possible. As you have an upper hand in the negotiation process, you can negotiate with the dealer to buy the car at low price. The negotiations in a traditional loan are not effective as the dealer is aware of the fact that you do not have money to finalize the deal.

· Future Benefits

A pre-approved auto loan, if repaid punctually, also provides future benefits. Applying for loans in the future becomes easy if the lender knows you well. He will provide you with special interest rates and reduce the loan approval time as well. It is because he has reviewed your documents in the past and is well-aware of your financial situation.

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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