Plans in Motion to Rework Debt Collection for Student Loan Borrowers

According to recent reports, plans have been set in motion to change the way debt collection agencies interact with borrowers. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Education may sever ties with private debt collection agencies.

Why? There have been mounting issues for consumers when it comes to the options these agencies offer them. These changes would be good news for federal student loan borrowers in default. Consumer advocates explain that some delinquent borrowers have shared that the collection agencies have not been forthcoming about the options available to them.

Even worse, there are accusations that some of these third-party collection agencies – like Performant Recovery Inc. and Windham Professionals Inc. – have used predatory practices. The Department of Education’s move to drop private collection agencies is part of a larger initiative to revamp the federal student loan system and better protect the interests of consumers.

In November 2017, the Department of Education put out a press release announcing its vision to overhaul and modernize the federal student financial aid repayment system. As of now, the system is very confusing for consumers; they face multiple brands and vendors during the life cycle of the student aid experience. In fact, borrowers could be assigned to more than one student loan servicer.

Private debt collection firms have also been accused of using aggressive practices. Unfortunately, this has stained the reputation for all firms, making it difficult to secure the services they need to operate smoothly. (Many turn to alternative lenders for a high-risk collection agency merchant account.)

Until the changes to remove private debt collectors from the system are put in motion, there are a few things consumers should know:

  • Borrowers in default have rights. While the student loan borrower may still have to deal with private collectors, the collectors are subject to the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (They cannot threaten arrest or harm, no calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., etc.)
  • Federal government outreach is increasing to at-risk borrowers. A new policy would start significant engagement with at-risk borrowers as early as 90 days after they become delinquent.

The court documents explain that “[The Education Department] expects these enhanced outreach efforts to reduce the volume of borrowers that default, improve customer service to delinquent borrowers and lower overall delinquency levels.”

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high risk payment processing and collection agency merchant account company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about his business as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.

Key Steps to Create a Foolproof IT Project Plan

Sharepoint integration requires a high level of IT understanding if you wish to be able to implement this integration effectively. Furthermore, you should be cognizant that the presentation of the different possible mechanisms, for example through a few tools representative of each of these modes of exchange, makes it possible to clarify the issue quickly. Moreover, among the risks related to the organization, a number of them directly concern the project team. Also, you should visit http://www.qipoint.com/sharepoint-site-auditing.

Hence, you should keep in mind that your organizational risks should be carefully analyzed. Additionally, you ought to be cognizant that at the end of your first phase, you will have written the expression of your functional needs and, preferably, you will have an estimate of the expected benefits: an expansion of the infrastructure, quality gains, or cost reductions. As a customer, it may also be challenging to protect yourself during this phase and to realize what your system will look like, but it is an essential step that will facilitate the overall process to accomplish the design part of the project entirely.

It is therefore difficult to manage your IT project using a traditional method. For example, these methods may also make it possible for you to quickly relaunch an IT project with regards to the deployment of a system where the overall number of days completed showed an overrun compared to the number of days estimated with regards to the first batch of features. These methods also ensure that these projects will be delivered on time, on budget and with benefit, risk, and quality management. Also, view this link for more data.

As an illustration, it must also be said that for an e-commerce site, your aim may be the overall number of product sales on your entire shop. However, for a showcase site, it will be the total number of contacts or the volume of downloads with regards to a white paper document or a piece of software. Moreover, you should give some thought to the idea that for these systems we can quickly set up personalized functional systems which are stripped of any style and you may then be able to use these for quick validation and communication with the end customer. Also, you should be aware that you will be able to follow these key steps to create a foolproof IT project plan, and you will also be able to lead your IT team with confidence.

Remember, you should also ask yourself: “Are there any issues that you are aware of in advance that may impact your IT project, such as a key worker taking an extended vacation?” Hence, by analyzing the answer to this query, you will be able to plan for these events. On the other hand, you might also wish to give some thought to the idea that you should be sure to specify all the objectives of the overall IT project and each of the different benefits that you may hope to achieve with your IT project. Also, view this link for more data.

What You Need To know About Very Cheap Car Insurance No Deposit?

There are a lot of people who don’t want to purchase car insurance policies. However, the fact that it is a requirement and law in various states make you buy one. Nevertheless, car insurance which can be referred to as property insurance is essentially good for you to have as a backup because you never knew when the unforeseen incident might happen on the road. As a result, you should look towards the policies that feel reasonable to you. Today, you are given an option of very cheap car insurance no deposit. It means that you can acquire auto insurance by paying no money up front. At this juncture, we will walk you through certain things that you must know about such plans.

Here is what you should know about such plans

No Deposit Plans Exist

Many people say that there is nothing such as very cheap car insurance no deposit and you are always required to pay something up front. Well, it is not necessarily the case. There are considerable numbers of companies that you will find on the internet, selling you cheap car insurances. Some of them may ask you not to pay any upfront payment when you are finalizing a deal with them. So, you get a chance to avoid the hefty fees upfront and you end up purchasing a policy that feels good to you.

You Don’t Necessarily Have to Pay Thousands of Dollars to Buy a Policy

The vast majority of the general population hesitates in purchasing an insurance policy just because they know that they will have to pay thousands of dollars as upfront payment. All things considered, with the modern-day options, you have a chance of both no deposit as well as minimal deposit car insurance. For instance, a $20 down payment car insurance is a minimal deposit option, and when contrasted with alternate policies where you are required to pay huge thousands of dollars, it seems, by all accounts, to be a no deposit too.

Decent Options for Risky Drivers

There are considerable measures of people who drive unsafe. While it is never something worth being applauded, we recommend you to be on the more secure side, there are occasions when you are late or have an emergency. In this event, you may drive with an adrenaline surge and there are chances that you end up missing. It prompts DUI or poor driving record and for such individuals, the insurance rates get really high. Be that as it may, if you consider surfing the internet, you may locate a reasonable policy for high-risk drivers tailored to your need.

Even Young Individuals Are Insured For Cheap

People that are under 25 years old, when buying an insurance policy, the companies see them as a gem. Hence, they would target such individuals and ask high rates from them making things very uncomfortable for the individual who is getting the insurance. Being a young person, you may pay for your car insurance all alone and might not have enough to pay for a high-cost policy. In any case, the very cheap car insurance no deposit plans got you covered here. Indeed! You also can have cheap car insurance.

It is Legal

In conclusion, discussing the car insurance, several individuals question that they are not legal and you have got the opportunity to pay an upfront payment to make an insurance policy legal. Indeed, shouldn’t something be said about paying $10 or $20 as upfront? Without a doubt, it makes your policy almost a no deposit one and you get covered on legitimate grounds as well. Furthermore, there are some no deposit plans that won’t ask anything from you and still, they would shape policy in a way that it would be faultlessly lawful for you. In any case, bear in mind to check for the law of your state.

It is Simple

You are not required to go to the agents neither do you need to take out time and go to different companies to get some answers concerning their insurance policies. Simply turn your internet connection and locate some great plans. Compare these plans with each other to see which one is most appealing and best suit your needs. Once there, you can simply go ahead and consult with the company and get yourself insured.
Thus, these are a couple of things about very cheap car insurance no deposit plans. Ensure that you get yourself covered properly. Exam the agreement and read the points of interest no less than twice before signing for the policy.

5 Dangers of Being Blinded by Your Startup ‘Baby’

Your entrepreneurially minded friend has this all too familiar sparkle in their eyes. You know it’s coming so you settle in your seat and prepare for the pitch. Then it comes – another idea, neither too exciting nor disruptive. But your friend continues pushing. A month later, a mock website is up and running.  A few weeks later, Facebook and Twitter campaigns are unleashed. By the end of the second month, an investor’s deck has been constructed and graphic tees (with quirky logos of course) have been sent to the printing vendor. A startup has been born, albeit quite hastily.

What is the actual problem here? Some would argue that if one has the resources, creative capacity, and perseverance, then he/she should go ahead and make their dream a reality. After all, investors invest in the person(s) behind the startup… right? While the latter is true to some extent, herein lies the problem: Obsessing over founding a startup can often blind us in terms of actually creating something of substance, of true value to the consumer/end user.

So here is my list of five dangers that often accompany such overzealous entrepreneurs:

(1)  Igniting Unnecessary Competition Early On: At this point in the startup’s development, there are low entry barriers. If you try to over-populate social media and PR outlets with your new, underexplored venture, you may soon realize that your friendly neighbours from Technion think they can create a better product than you can. Guess what? They probably learned from your mistakes and are now refining their offering.

(2) Cockiness: Please excuse my forwardness, but this is just most fitting. You know who I am referring to – those people with their head held way too high, the ones who barely look at you at networking or pitch events. All these behaviours and they have yet to realize true product-market fit.

My advice: ditch the act and never underestimate the power of modesty. This is no way suggests that confidence doesn’t add a much needed boost in our daily lives. Rather, I am arguing that wanting desperately to be an ‘influencer’ does not mean you can’t also be well received. Who knows, an attitude change may even serve to help impress potential investors.

(3)  Early disappointment: Without a clear value proposition, your startup may soon fade away, leaving not much behind. While you will undoubtedly learn from your experience, negative feelings may soon surface, which may further inhibit your future success. Disappointment occurs in many well-developed startups, but in this case, yours may have been unfortunately foreshadowed due to an overly ambitious timeline.

(4) Running out of money… fast: Though quite obvious, this one must be mentioned. Whether it is your parent’s money or your personally acquired wealth, losing money is never fun. This can not only damage your ego, but can directly limit your ability to start your next venture. After all, rent in Tel-Aviv isn’t getting any cheaper. Ideally, try to spend more time cultivating your idea, pivoting when necessary, and build a sustainable product.

(5) Irrelevancy: This is probably the most significant of all the listed dangers – Creating a startup just for the sake of seeing your name appear on CrunchBase, without a clear value proposition. I invite both all wannabe entrepreneurs and current startup founders to read about the Lean Startup movement, how to simplify leadership styles and customer development process before diving into the startup world. Following Steve Blank, Bob Dorf and Eric Ries on LinkedIn would be a solid start.

So what’s the bottom line?

Many people are actively seeking a way to own or lead something, whether by building a new startup or a better competitor to an existing service. While this drive is well understood and appreciated, especially in the Israeli startup ecosystem, it should not blindly guide you into launching a venture to prove to yourself (or to others) that you are an innovator. Phew, now having said all this, go on and create something meaningful!

The digital marketing trends to watch

The internet has had an enormous impact on the world – how we consume news, how we shop, how we keep up with friends and even how we date. It has also had a huge impact on how companies do their marketing. Digital marketing is the most dynamic and exciting area of marketing and it is changing all the time. Here are the trends you should keep an eye on in 2018 and beyond.

Voice search is getting bigger

When voice search was first introduced by search engines, it was patchy at best. When you tried it out, it was impossible to know what it would end up searching for. However, the technology has improved substantially over the last couple of years. In fact, with Google reporting that its speech recognition for English has hit 95%, Google voice search has become 20% more accurate since 2013. This means that it is approaching human levels of accuracy and errors are being rapidly reduced.

The launch of digital assistants for the home, such as Alexa, means that tech companies are doubling down on voice search as the primary way of searching in the future. This is a future in which most searches are done just by instructing your device with your voice. This affects digital marketing because people’s searches differ between text and voice. For example, if you searched on Google for pizza delivery via text, you would probably type in something like “pizza delivery near me”. However, if you did it via voice search then you would probably be more inclined to use a full sentence like “Where can I get pizza delivered near me?” This means that companies will have to target different keywords when it comes to search engine marketing.

Mobile is king and it’s here to stay

In 2018, mobile truly is the king of the internet. Mobile phones accounted for 52.2% of all online traffic generated, up from 50.3% in 2017. People are using their mobile devices more and more for all aspects of the internet, including on social media – it was reported in 2017 that 95.1% of active Facebook users access the social media platform from their mobile devices, and 85% of the time spent on Twitter is spent by those using mobile devices. Additionally, 48% of buyers now start their online shopping with a search on their mobile device.

All of this means that digital marketers have to be focusing on mobile. You can’t just focus your website on desktop and laptop. Your site needs to look great and be very usable on all platforms and screen sizes. This means that responsiveness is an absolute must. If your site doesn’t have easy to read text, touch-friendly buttons or doesn’t adapt to how the user is holding their phone (either in portrait or landscape mode) then they are going to quickly leave.

AR is coming into its own

Remember Pokémon Go? How it had millions of people wandering outside looking for Pikachus, Blastoises and Charizards (or whatever the plural of those are)? It was a worldwide phenomenon for a few months. It was also a great example of augmented reality (AR) in action. AR is also having a huge impact on how companies market their products and services. AR allows companies to bring marketing into the world of consumers. For example, IKEA has come up with an excellent AR experience where customers can use their smartphones to browse the catalog and then insert any product they wish to into the room they are in, just using AR. It’s very cool, genuinely useful and generated hype around IKEA.

Video is the key to social media

Creating a shareable video for your brand’s social media channel can have a huge impact on your digital marketing efforts. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are actually changing the algorithms of users’ timelines to highlight videos over images and text. Over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every single day. Video should be the number-one focus for digital marketing, according to Valentino Vaschetto. Valentino Vaschetto works for Iconic Industries, a leading marketing agency based in San Diego and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Conclusion

These are the trends that are currently dictating digital marketing, but who knows what could be round the corner that we don’t even know about yet. Make sure to keep an eye on these trends and change your digital marketing campaigns accordingly.