Credit Squeeze On Credit Cards

Banks and other credit card providers are starting to review thousands of customers' credit limits and increasing the number of new applications that they turn down, as the fallout from the US lending crisis continues. By taking this action, lenders hope that they will cut the expensive costs of pursuing late payers and defaulters.

Major credit card provider Barclaycard, like most UK credit cards companies, has reduced the credit limits of half a million customers as it continues to review the spending patterns and behaviors of its customers. By taking such action, the company hopes to identify those most likely to be unable to repay their debt should the credit squeeze bite even further. In a two-pronged attack on the new credit problem, over half of the new applications to Barclaycard will absolutely be returned, and at the same time existing customers are being closely monitored to ensure that they are not slipping into difficulties.

Barclaycard, however, insists that this is not a panic measure but an extension of policies introduced in 2006. A spokesman for Barclays said: "We have been carrying out an intensive review since 2006 and as a result have lowered the limits on credit cards for over 500,000 cardholders where we believe those customers have become overextended or where they have exceeded their agreed limit. "

Even though the bank argues that their actions are merely good business practice, observers link it to falling profits; a 17% drop in the first half of their financial year. This is just the start of potential problems for Barclays as it's also seeking to off-load its consumer loan business First Plus for considerationably less than the loan book worth of £ 4.5 billion, amidst growing concerns of rising bad debts. The bad news for the retail trade as Christmas approaches is that Barclays are not alone in taking this action. Most high street banks, credit card companies and other lenders are following suit.

From the consumer's point of view this is a definite change. The era in which credit card deals were abundant and easily available looks to be coming to an end. It will be even more vital to compare credit cards, the benefits that they offer and the rates they charge before switching or even thinking of applying for a new card. Anyone thinking of applying for a new card that has a less than perfect credit record should think carefully, because if they are turned down for any new credit cards that application will leave an imprint on their credit record making it even more difficult for them to get credit in the future.

The Lost Art of Thank You

With the holiday season upon us I couldn’t resist my next subject. I have been watching this for some time and as long as I have been in business and have listened to people complain about not having enough business and ask each other how can we get more referrals. I’ve got an easy answer. Say “Thank You”. That’s it! I could stop there but I’m not going to. You know me. I love to run my mouth. Now, I’m not talk about that automated “auto-responder” crap that we put on every order that someone buys from their on-line store. Or that out-of-office response we add before we go on vacation either that you’ve somehow morphed to say “Thanks” I got your email. I’m talk about an old-school “Thank You card”. You remember those. Yeah, or better yet, make a 1 minute phone call and say “Thank You”.

My Grandmother always said you attract more flies with honey. So for those of you who can’t or refuse to pick up the phone in this new age of removed connectivity, go to one of your nearest retailers or office supply stores and buy a box of nice looking “Thank You” cards. Then grab a sheet of paper and write down a list of people who have down something nice for you that has furthered your business and send them a “Thank You”. The list may be short or long. Depends on how many people you know or how many you remember that have helped you. I know this sounds so easy and simple yet how many of us do it.

The thing about saying “Thank You” is it connects you with someone around an event or subject. Which can be a bonding thing and also let the recipient know what you appreciate them thinking of you enough to refer a trusted friend, associate, or client to you. And if you have the time and the budget to throw in a nicety like a gift card to their favorite haunt. Believe me, they’ll love you for that because it means that you really see them, feel them and hear them.

Now how often should you send thank you cards to people who refer someone to you. Read my lips…FOREVER! Need I say more. The moment you stop saying thank you. It will only be a matter of time before you never hear from them again. We all remember when someone sent you an unexpected “Thank You” and how it made you feel. That positive reinforcement went a long way didn’t it. I bet you told a few people and even called that person and said “ah, you shouldn’t have”. See what I mean. Remember it’s the little things that make the difference. Something this small could make a huge difference between reaching your yearly projections or not. Look at it this way. Grandma would be proud. Have a fantastic holiday season. Thank you for reading my words. It feels good to know that they may make a difference for someone. Until next time this is my “Life Through a Different Lens”. Be Well.

Finding Affordable Wedding Photography

Your wedding day can be the realization of a lifetime of dreams; you want everything to be perfect – from your dress to your flowers and everything in between. But, for most of us, planning the perfect wedding means doing so on a budget. And when it comes to high-end services such as photography, staying true to that budget can prove extremely difficult. However, with research, planning, and a significant dose of flexibility, you can find affordable wedding photography that will not only meet your budget restrictions but provide you with the beautiful photography you deserve.

Finding affordable wedding photography can be accomplished in a number of ways. Word of mouth is the most essential tool you can use to find those wedding services you want at a budget that works for you. Talk to friends or acquaintances that have held weddings similar in size and scope to what you're planning to determine what vendors worked successfully within their budget.

Another avenue you may want to explore when it comes to finding affordable wedding photography is the venue where you are holding your reception. Clearly, reception sites host a variety of weddings throughout the year; they often have access to quality vendors who offer affordable services.

Some people may think that hiring a wedding planner works against a budget-conscious wedding, but the opposite is often true. Wedding planners will often pay for themselves with the money they save you in vendor fees. Because wedding planners work with photographers frequently, they often have established relationships that will save you money in the end.

But when it comes to affordable wedding photography, sometimes limiting the services you require rather than choosing a low-priced photographer will help you stay within your budget restrictions. If you have your heart set on a particular photographer that does beautiful work then compromise to get the price that you need; sometimes have the photographer only shoot your ceremony and formal shots and then ask your guests to help take photographs through your reception to be gathered into an album at a later date.

Ultimately, affordable wedding photography is about creativity and flexibility. If you think outside the box and think of small ways to save money, eventually those small steps will add up to big savings.

Austin Texas Real Estate Profiles – Lakeway

Lakeway, Texas, is a city that offers excellent location alongside exceptional living. This community in west Travis County is located right on a lake for lovely views and easy access to water recreation. Located near State Highway 620 and US290 / TX71 freeway, Lakeway is only a 20 minute commute from the employment opportunities and shopping and dining options in Austin.

Lakeway is more than 5 500 acres of planned development community. The neighborhood has received acclaim for its excellent planning and for its natural beauty. Residents of Lakeway enjoy lovely homes as well as easy access to green spaces, lake views, limestone cliffs, and fields. Virtually every homeowner in Lakeway has unparallel views.

Lakeway also receives a lot of attention because the community is designed to be rich in recreation opportunities. Builders have implemented reasonable amounts of green space into the community design and the over 30 years of development in the area has condemned in mature landscaped lots as well as an abundance of recreation facilities. Lakeway boasts four 18-hole golf courses. Lakeway's tennis facility, The World of Tennis, is routinely ranked as one of the top in the country. Nearby Lake Travis and the Lakeway Marina offer many water recreation opportunities. The Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department oversees three parks, including the 64-acre Lakeway City Park. The community has just built a new 20-acre park and is home to two greenbelts as well. Green spaces in this community offer amenities such as pools, tennis courts, recreation areas, and other facilities.

Fitting in at Lakeway is as simple as staying fit here. Lakeway is home to multiple community social, clubs, and associations, all of which host special events such as cookouts, tours, trips, and parades. Lakeway is designed so that it is easy to meet your neighbors while the eco friendly design makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining an active lifestyle.

Today, when many parents choose to buy homes based largely on education opportunities of a participant district, Lakeway Texas is a stellar choice. Lakeway is part of the esteemed Lake Travis Independent School District. This school district is renamed for its AP classes, solid college preparation, low student to faculty ratio and abundant extracurricular offerings. Over 40% of the faculty members in the Lake Travis Independent School District have graduated degrees, including enhanced learning opportunities.