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Applying for a Home Loan? Here are 5 factors you must know

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Are you applying for a home loan? You should certainly keep more than a few factors in mind. Home loans come in handy whenever we have to purchase our dream houses which most of us, particularly the professional salaried classes, cannot afford otherwise. According to RBI loan guidelines a home loan is thus one of the biggest investments of our lives and has to be planned carefully in order to maximize one’s benefits from the same. Bear in mind that a home loan is a long-term investment and should be handled responsibly. You should only apply for a home loan in case you are sure that you will be able to responsibly manage and repay debt that you have on hand. You should also plan for emergency situations well in advance.

Too many people make the mistake of not having enough surplus funds saved up to cover rainy day expenses or cater to needs like sudden medical treatment and other exigencies without having to compromise on home loan repayments every month. Make sure that you have a corpus saved up as an emergency fund and this should encompass 3-6 months of your net monthly salary which naturally includes the amount that you are repaying as the home loan. Do not default on your home loan by all means. Defaulting means automatically ending up with a lower credit or CIBIL score. Any default leads to your score coming down drastically and this will hamper your overall credit rating and drive a wedge in your relationship with your lender. Make sure to repay your home loan timely and also try and prepay some part of the loan whenever you can. If you wish, you can always use your surplus funds or bonuses to repay some part of the home loan principal amount. Not only will this help you slash the overall interest costs payable on the loan, the EMI will come down. Now, if you keep the EMI unchanged even after prepayment, the loan will be reduced even further. This is a good strategy to take if you are considering applying for a home loan.

On that note, here are 5 factors related to home loans that you should definitely be aware of-

  1. Principal Amount Tax Deductions- There is an income tax deduction under 80C where you can get up to Rs. 1, 50, 000 as the deduction on the principal amount that you have repaid annually. However, bear in mind that this section covers several other investments such as insurance so you will have to plan and apply for deductions accordingly. This is also the section under which you get deductions on registration charges and stamp duty paid for your property.
  2. Interest Amount Tax Deductions- You can get up to Rs. 2 lakh as a tax deduction on the interest paid annually on your home loan under Section 24. This is another way to reap high benefits in terms of tax savings.
  3. Tax Deductions for First-Time Homebuyers- If you are a first-time home buyer, you will be eligible for a deduction up to Rs. 50, 000 under Section 80EE provided you meet certain conditions. 
  4. Joint Loan Applications- If you apply jointly for a home loan with your spouse or eligible family member, not only does your home loan eligibility increase, both co-borrowers can get the same home loan tax benefits in case they are both co-owners of the property. This maximizes tax benefits for a family.
  5. Down Payment- You will be required to pay anywhere between 15-20% of the property price upfront as the down payment. This has to be arranged prior to applying for the home loan. Try and pay as high as you can in order to keep the home loan EMI low.

Business

10 quick SEO wins for your small business

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Getting SEO right has never been so important for small businesses. If you want to attract new customers: increase your digital footprint, increase your organic site traffic for the keywords that matter to your business, and outrank your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You have to put time and effort into your SEO strategy. We’ve compiled a list of 10 quick wins to kick-start your SEO efforts, but we recommend working with an experienced SEO agency to put some weight and expertise behind your plan.

  1. Target the right keywords 

    Your time is finite, so you should focus on optimising your website and content for the keywords that mean most to your business. They could be product keywords, niche specific phrases, or keywords you know lead to the most leads or sales.

  2. Craft unique and engaging content

    72% of marketers say that content creation is their most effective SEO tactic. Take inspiration from lifestyle brand Sheer Luxe and guitar brand D’Angelico, which produce engaging visual and written content to connect with their audiences.

  3. Refine your on-page SEO

    Title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, image and video weight optimisation, quick-to-load page speed, responsive design – Google wants you to give your audience the best experience possible, and making sure these areas are in order is a great starting point for better SEO and ranking.

  4. Optimise and refresh existing content

    It’s all well and good creating new content, but don’t forget to audit and freshen up any existing content you already have. Google looks for content that is current, unique and relevant to your audience. If you’ve got old content on your site, leverage its existence and get it Google-ready by reworking the copy and making sure all of the on-page SEO areas are in order.

  5. Think mobile first

    Google indexes mobile first, which means it looks at the mobile version of your website first and uses that experience to help determine where your pages should rank when people search. Etsy is a fantastic example of a mobile web experience done well.

  6. Earn backlinks

    Every time a site links to yours, this is like a ‘yes’ vote to Google, telling it to trust you and marking your website as having content that is useful and worth sharing.  Try creating standout content that excites your audience and makes people want to link to it. Surfing website Rip Curl is a example of linkworthy content – it’s unique, engaging and speaks directly to its audience: the surfing community.

  7. Take a close look at your competitors

    If you’ve noticed your competitors rising above you in the search-engine ranks, do some digging around their website. What are they publishing? Which keywords are they targeting? Are they doing anything different to you? Take note of their activity and bring something better to the table.

  8. Make your listing as clickable as possible

    Your website meta description and title can be the first interaction your audience has with your website. It has to be clickable, to entice people to take the next step into visiting your website.

  9. Test different types of content

    Written, video, imagery, infographic, interactive – which type of content best engages with your audience and earns you those valuable backlinks? You won’t know until you test different formats. TED conferences shot to global fame because of fantastic content marketing, with video and podcasts working extremely well for them.

  10. Add your business to Google My Business

    This last point is really simple and really easy to execute. If you’re a business with a website, you mustlist yourself on Google My Business to give you as much visibility as possible within search-engine results pages.

SEO isn’t new. Many brands and businesses have spent years investing time and resource into their SEO strategy, so now is the time to get on board with your own search engine optimisation. These 10 quick wins will get your started on your SEO journey, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Partner with an SEO agency to really understand the best way to approach your SEO strategy and how to build a plan that will set you up for future search-engine excellence and growth.

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Guide to the Best Online Loans Available

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When looking for the best online loans available, you must do your homework so that you’ll know exactly what to expect online lenders to be looking for when you request a loan.

Obviously, the best online loans won’t be the easiest to get; to get the best interest rates and terms, you must take time to thoroughly check out numerous online lenders. Your collateral will have to be worth substantially more than the loan requested and you need to understand up front that if you have bad credit you will probably be paying a higher interest rate than someone who has good credit. This is just the price that has to be paid in order to improve your credit score.

If you take the time to carefully consider all of your options and choose a loan based that will fit your needs, it’s very likely that you’ll have a positive experience with your online financing.

You’re Collateral

Secured loans will probably have the most desirable payback terms… this is because the lender is guaranteed repayment by the collateral so they are willing to offer interest rates and loan terms that wouldn’t be possible if the loan was unsecured. Lenders are more confident that they will be paid back if the loan is secured by your property. Using the internet to offer their services sometimes limits the forms of collateral that will be accepted. This is because of the paperwork that is involved.

It is sometimes possible to use the item that you are financing to secure the loan… this is especially true if you are looking for a home loan or a car loan. However, you are probably going to need a down payment. Once the application is done you will know how much cash you will need for the down payment.

Some online lenders will not advance loans for purchasing something. They tend to lead more toward consolidating your debts or improving your credit. These lenders will usually accept high-value home equity as a good choice of collateral because it is easier to handle and they do not need storage space as they do for physical properties like vehicles. It is easy to transfer the ownership because the actual property is not involved. It is simply a matter of paper work.

Options for Repayment

Just like any other financial transaction, the best online loans will have some repayment terms that will be agreeable for both the lender and the borrower. This is essential. Lots of online lenders offer automatic payments from the customer’s bank account. This is an easy method of payment and the borrower will not forget the due date or have to write and mail checks. Many customers will find an option on the website so they can choose to use a wire transfer or pay online. If you prefer, you can mail your payment to the physical address.

Doing the Paperwork

It is easy to apply for best online loan available over the internet, but there is still some paperwork that has to be completed and mailed or faxed to the lender.

To make things easier for everyone involved, the best loans do as much of the paperwork online as possible but there may still be, some forms that have to be printed out, completed, and signed. The lender will want a hard copy of all documents along with identification.

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How to organise your online content

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You’ve decided to embark on a content strategy – that’s a smart move, because it’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective digital marketing strategies. But now the hard work starts. Whether it’s just you producing and promoting content, or whether you lead a team of writers, keeping track can be tricky. If you’re not organised, you’ll quickly lose track of what you’ve released and what you haven’t, and what was successful and what wasn’t. This can be multiplied several times if your team is large.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to keep your content machine well oiled and organised – and ensure your five-star strategy has the best chance of success.

Create a content calendar

The first thing to do is create a content calendar. It should detail what you intend to write and when, as well as where you plan to publish the content. It sets out your strategy as actual concrete content, with deadlines to sharpen the mind and ensure you get things done. Undelivered content is worthless.

An effective strategy to help make things easier is to divide your calendar into content themes. Rather than flitting from topic to topic, this helps you delve deeper into particular subjects and reduce the time needed on research. The culmination of each theme can be an in-depth white paper you offer as a download in exchange for contact details to build your email list.

Depending on your strategy, you’ll also need to make sure you have a good balance between on- and off-site content – content calendars are the ideal way to ensure this.

Finding the right project management tools

There are a plethora of content project management tools (not to be confused with content management systems) out there, with a host of features. The hard part is choosing the right one – this image from Curata demonstrates just how complex the landscape is.

You need to set out what you want to achieve and the level of collaboration and workflow management you need. Chad Harwood-Jones, Managing Director of content marketing agency WooContent, says: ‘It’s ultimately about finding the right tool for your business. Recommendations help, but the most important thing is to define your objectives first then select the provider that can best help you achieve them.’

If you’re unsure, or just want to get going quickly, Google Drive is a great place to start. Google’s G Suite contains software to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more – all of the systems can be used collaboratively with everyone editing the same documents. Personal accounts are free, and business accounts can be more cost effective than more expensive alternatives.

Set the standard with templates

While you don’t just want to produce cookie-cutter content, using templates to promote consistency can save hours in edits and re-edits. By creating a template with the correct formatting, sub-headings and images, you’ll ensure your writers and collaborators are more likely to get the required results first time. Make sure people know how much they need to take the templates as gospel and how much they can use their creative licence.

Create toolkits, checklists and brand guidelines 

Another way to ensure cohesion between all content producers is to create documents that detail your identity and standards. Your brand guidelines should detail your company’s personality, writing style and visual identity, so will help new collaborators to produce content that meets your specifications.

This can then be extended to toolkits and checklists you can use for more detailed instructions on each channel, such as a blog-writing checklist or video-marketing toolkit.

Reporting on your success

A measure not to be overlooked, reporting on your success (or not) is crucial to learning and optimising your activity going forwards. If a piece of content is successful, great. Evaluate how successful it was, analyse why and replicate it. Maybe you could repurpose it into other formats?

If it didn’t work, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes! Effective measurement and reporting is the only way you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.

Although it’s not the most exciting part of content marketing, without effective organisation, your content strategy is doomed to fail before you’ve even begun. Putting the time in to produce effective processes before delving headlong into content production will reap rewards in the long run.

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