ABC of finances

Loans for Unemployed

Loans for Unemployed

It is one of life’s small cruelties that the times when you need credit most badly, are also the times when lenders are least willing to give it to you. When you are finding it hard to meet your obligations, your car payments are behind, your credit cards are all fully loaded, and you’re barely meeting your rent or mortgage payments, your credit score takes a nose dive. Even if you are meeting all your payments, credit reporting companies can show lenders that you are at your limit, that you’re fully extended on all existing lines of credit, and you’ve been searching vigorously for more. This will be looked on very poorly by lenders and make them much less inclined to lend to you.

Between Jobs

One of the periods when you are most likely to be in this sort of situation is when you are between jobs. There are a million reasons why you might lose your job, many of which will not be your fault, and if you are unlucky enough to have this happen to you when you’re under heavy debt, then things can quickly get out of hand.

It may seem like stating the obvious, but the surest way to get out of this situation is to find a new job as soon as possible. In many cases you can be back to work within a month or two so if you have enough money to keep you afloat for this period you will be ok. However it is not always easy to find a new job quickly, especially if the reason you lost your original job is due to difficult conditions in your industry or area.


The other thing you might consider is credit protection insurance. This is an insurance policy you will need to have taken out before you lost your job. If you did, there is a good chance you will be covered for exactly this situation. Most credit protection plans provide that if you lose your job through no fault if your own, they will kick in the meet your repayments for you, until you can get another job. They have many strict conditions, for example, they will probably expect you to accept the first job offer you get, even if it does not pay as well as your last job etc.


The other option is to borrow some money to tide you over till you get a new job. While it may seem unlikely that a lender will lend to a person who is out of employment, there are situations when they will lend to you. If you can demonstrate a good previous repayment record, and have very good prospects of finding a job soon, they may be willing to back you, especially if you have security such as your home to offer them. If you do opt for this route however, make sure you are very confident of finding employment before putting your home at risk.

The basics of reading a forex quote(1)

The basics of reading a forex quote

The foreign exchange market can be a baffling place for newcomers, and one of the sources of confusion is the forex quote. A forex quote is a small bit of information, yet it’s packed with numbers that may not make sense to someone unfamiliar with the forex system. Here’s a basic explanation of how it works.

A forex quote consists of a currency pair -- forex deals always involve simultaneously selling one currency and buying another -- a bid price and an ask price. For example, one quote might be this:

USD/JPY 118.71/75

The first currency is the base currency, and the other one is the quote currency. The value of the base currency is always 1 -- in this case, 1 U.S. dollar. The number tells you how many of the quote currency (the Japanese yen, in this case) you can buy with $1.

But what kind of number is 118.71/75? It’s actually forex shorthand for two numbers: 118.71 and 118.75. The lower number is the bid price, the other is the ask price. The bid price is the price that dealers will buy the base currency for. The ask price is what dealers will sell it for.

So if the above were the current quote, it would mean right now, you could SELL U.S. dollars in exchange for 118.71 yen per dollar. Or, if you preferred, you could BUY U.S. dollars at a rate of 118.75 yen per dollar.

The difference between the bid price and the ask price in a forex quote is called the “spread,” and those tiny units are called “pips.” In our example, the spread for USD/JPY was four pips. The spread is usually that small for the most commonly traded currencies, which means anything involving the U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, Great British pound, the euro, Swiss franc or Australian dollar. In fact, thanks to the great competition in the forex trading market, some quotes will have spread of as little as one pip.

Of course, for less commonly traded currencies, the spread can be much greater. And even when the quote delivers a small spread, it adds up when you’re trading hundreds of thousands of units. If you were dealing with 100 U.S. dollars, the difference between selling them for 11,871 yen and buying them for 11,875 yen wouldn’t be much at all -- just four yen. But if it were 100,000 U.S. dollars, suddenly that four-pip spread means a 4,000-yen difference. So the spread in a quote is more important than its smallness would suggest.