Nature in Azumino, Nagano

Azumino is a city in the northwest of Matsumoto with beautiful mountains and small clear rivers flowing through it. There are many small clear waters which pour into the Azusa River as it runs through the city.

Activities to undertake

Daio Wasabi Farm

Daio Wasabi farm the home of the main ingredient used in sushi. Wasabi  grows by the river banks, meaning there is never a shortage of the wasabi. There is wasabi everywhere along the river banks of clear water which run through the farm and they are at different stages of growth. The snacks and food in the farm are finger-licking as all of them contain the main ingredient wasabi. Which better way of enjoying biking in Nagano, other than riding through the rice fields on paved lanes. This farm is a popular family outing joint as I am set to find out, but one can never have enough of the place. Apart from biking the place is rich in Japanese culture with a shrine and a temple. Though there is nothing much to do here the scenery is peaceful.

Summer mountain biking

One word to describe my biking experience is ‘INCEDIBLE.’ Hakuba has a valley where biking tours are popular and the refreshing breeze blowing through makes it more enticing. With our safety gear in place, athletic shoes, bike helmet and a water bottle,  we set up our bikes and we are ready to go. There are many downhill routes to choose from and we take on the adventurous and challenging route.  The biking path is full of man-made jumps which makes the experience more thrilling. We pass rocky trails and some villas before getting to our first stop, the local Suwa shrine. The clear waters running through the place and this enormous huge cedar tree which we enjoy the view and trying to make out how big it is. We continue to ride through the woods to a campsite where there is a pool formed by rocks surrounding. Of course we honor the invite of the cool water by taking off our clothes and enjoy a refreshing cooling dip in the pool. After some time we get out of the water, dry and continue to last leg of the biking tour. What a day as we eventually pop out on the main roads.

Rafting in Hakuba

At the height of cherry blossom season in the early spring is the best time to go rafting. Snow-capped mountains with fast currents and blooming cherry trees provide a welcoming scene. Mountain streams abundantly flow through the mountains making it a leading area for water activities.  Looking for a way to cool off during summer, there is no better way than rafting,  in Hakuba. It is more enjoyable when done as a group other than enjoying this adrenaline rushing moment alone. We have an instructional safety meeting and our safety gear is in place that is helmet and floating devices. After that we were ready to push off. With our guide being very helpful we start peddling once our device was in the water. One, two, three, paddle it was so much fun, especially areas where the water is a bit calm and cool. Then the time comes when you have to test your five minute training on a rapid with violent currents. This is where the adventure lies, but at the same time the reality of life. This is the moment your entire life flashes before you in a minute when you think about the water roaring and the violent waves. I decide to take life seriously to overcome this threatening water. In the middle of the currents, we started paddling as hard as we could, to combat them. We were all soaked in cold water and the body responds by shivering, but soon overcome by feelings of flight and fight. It was not time to stop, but to move forward, making sure we are clear from the currents. At least we make it to calmer waters, and as we try catching our breaths we cannot stop paddling yet. If anything our guide maintained composure, giving us a sense of security all through the experience. The scenery is breathtaking and relaxing and  this was a refreshing, thrilling summertime activity. This was a great adventure and I have my own story to tell now.

All You Need To Know About Loan Companies

A loan company is a principally engaged financial institution whose main aim is to provide finance to the general public by advances or loans for them.

A loan involves two parties the lender and the borrower, the lender lends money to the borrower with an agreement of the amount being lent will be returned with interest as per the conditions agreed on. Loan companies offer several types of loans based on individual preferences and some loan companies tailor make loans to suit individuals or businesses. There are different loans which one can choose from, such as the term loan, secured loan, demand loan, commercial loan, unsecured loan, agricultural loan, industrial loan among many others.

Loan companies can be small partnership firms which take money deposits from the public and give the loan to different people at interest rates. Some loan companies undertake activities such as hire purchase or equipment leasing company. These companies are alike, though the business activities are different and the funding requirements are different.

Financial service firms are different in many dimensions. The characteristics of loan companies include

  1. They are under strict regulatory overlay

Financial service firms are regulated by the government. The banks and insurance companies are regulated to ensure they don’t expand beyond what they can handle and put depositors and claim holders’ money at risk. They are also restricted to where they can invest their funds. Sometimes they might be restricted in taking active equity positions in non-financial firms. The regulatory author controls the entry of new firms in the market and the mergers of existing firms.

  1. Accounting rules

There are accounting rules which govern the record book value and earnings of financial service companies. The assets of the service firms are usually in bonds, which  are active in the market. The accounting rules require the marking of assets to market value. The financial firms are expected to operate for profitability and they are expected to create smoother earnings.

  • Equity and debt

Financial firms are expected to raise funds by equity or debt; this is what makes them different from non-financial firms. The financial firms are expected to raise money from equity bondholders and investors and the funds should be used for investments. Debts to finance firms are viewed as raw material which can make money to profit by them. The regulatory authorities ensure that the equity capital is evaluated in terms of ratios.

  1. Cash flow

Other firms invest in tangible fixed assets, but financial firms have intangible assets like human capital and brand name. Their investments grow with time and operating expenses are accounted for.


The main activities of loan companies

It is prohibited for use deposits from the public to fund their activities, but what exactly do they do.

Loan companies are allowed to

  • Lend to the public in the form of mortgage credits, commercial credits, and personal credits among other kinds of credit.
  • Lease financially.
  • To risk capital or venture capital.
  • Control payment services.
  • Administer and issue payments such as bankers’ drafts, credit cards and travelers’ checks.
  • Initiate commitments and guarantees.
  • Money broking.
  • Issue electronic money.
  • Underwrite share issues and participate in share issues.
  • Trade accounts for foreign exchange, transferable instruments interest rate and other financial services.

What You Need To Know When You Apply For a Loan

A loan is receiving money to be repaid later as the principal amount with interest and any other charges as required. The principal amount is the exact amount of money borrowed. Loans are of great help when used wisely, but can cause distress if misused. It is very important for you to understand when getting a loan is a good solution for you and when it is not a good solution especially when you can’t afford to pay.

There are two types of loans, the unsecured and secured loan. For a secured loan a collateral is needed, which serves as security in case you default lender possesses the collateral given.

What you need to know before you apply for a loan?

You can apply for a loan if

  • You are over 18 years old and above.
  • You need to be a UK resident to access most loans.
  • It might be a requirement that you hold a current account with the lender.
  • The amount of loan applied for depends on your lender and how much they think you can repay.
  • The type of loan you are applying.
  • Meet the basic criteria set by the lender.
  • Your credit report and credit rating should look good.

Other things you need to know are

Meeting the basic criteria

Lenders are more interested in your financial situation and your credit history. The basic criteria needed to apply for a loan is evidence of a good credit score and the fact that you can cover monthly repayments easily. If the lender sees a sign that the loan repayment might be missed or late, they have the option to charge higher interest rates on the loan requested or reject the loan application.

How much can you apply for?

This depends on the type of loan secured or unsecured loan. The lender also lets you borrow based on your financial status and your credit record on how you can reasonably repay the loan.

How long can the loan last?

The term the loan will last vary from one lender to another and the type of loan applied for. A personal loan can last between 1 to 7 years. Taking out a long term repayment method could get you lower repayment amounts, but overall the payment is higher; the short term repayment method gets you paying more but overall you pay less interest rates. Choose a loan with the shortest term of payment and the lowest rate you can afford.

Improve your credit rating

  • Your credit report is the best way make you aware of areas you need to improve and also check out for any mistakes.
  • Your credit report should include loan repayments, credit cards and/ or utilities. Make sure you pay the loans on time, even if it means paying the minimum payment to avoid a missed or late payment.
  • Sign up on the electoral roll because most lenders use the electoral registers for confirmation of identity.
  • Make sure you build a credit history with loans and credit cards. It is difficult for a lender to make a decision when you have no credit history and when lending you money and they might treat you as a high risk loan borrower which will cost you.
  • Avoid having many credit applications as this reflects negatively on your credit report and the lenders reject your application on the basis of too many financial commitments.

Are You Sure You Want To Borrow Money?

Many times you find yourself in a fix and borrowing money seems like a good idea. Some reasons are worth borrowing for but some are not. One can borrow money to buy an expensive asset which they know they can never save enough to buy. For example, a house is an asset one would find it hard to save until they buy. However, it is a bad idea to borrow money to buy clothes, shoes or food. This is because these things might wear out and leave you paying a loan.

To borrow money is a decision which needs careful consideration. Borrowing money is making a commitment to pay money at a specified time and this will definitely affect your finances.  There are several things you need to ask yourself to be sure you are making the right decision when borrowing money.

Do you really need to purchase right now?

Depending on the situation you are in, some things seem necessary, but if you think about it they are not necessities. You need to clearly identify your wants and your needs.  Consider tightening your belt financially for you to purchase the intended item. Sometimes you find that you save more when making a cash purchase. You realize you will practice good financial management skills until you achieve to make a purchase.

Can you consider less expensive options?

Most of the time nobody wants to buy an inferior item, everybody wants the nicest thing they can buy. Sometimes, it is good to consider the fact that a less expensive purchase will still get you the results you expect. For example, if you want to buy a car, consider a cheaper option which is reliable and will serve you as you focus your energy and finances on something else. This does not mean that you buy the cheapest item because sometimes cheap can be expensive, but then buy something worth it. It is always advisable to explore the market place thoroughly. You will find out that the same thing you want is sold for a cheaper price somewhere by a different person.

Are you sure you will afford the payments?

This is an important question which requires you to be honest with yourself.  Consider how far you can stretch financially without having to give up basic financial responsibilities. Do a debt to income ratio, income which should not be higher than 25%.

How fast will you pay off?

When you take to borrow money ask yourself how fast you can pay. To reach your financial goals of making wealth avoid constantly paying interest to others and consider having your money earning you more money. Do not just settle for the monthly payments ordered by the lender to go that extra mile to pay extra every month and have the loan repayment over and done with.

What if you are unable to pay off?

If you are borrowing your money with an assurance that you are on a paycheck you need to also look at the long term effects, in case you lose your job. This will pressurize you to find a new job and at the same time, you do not want your credit score negatively affected by skipping payments or late payments. So need to be extra careful when taking out a loan, be careful the extra debt you are taking on.

Best Loans You Can Access

The best loan is the one that lets you borrow the amount you need, is cheap and still affordable for you to pay back without much hustle. It also depends on your personal circumstance and your personal financial income.

Before you can settle on the best loan you can get there are three important things you need to do

  1. Have a complete figure of how much you need to borrow
  2. Have a set time on how long you will pay back.
  3. Compare different loan rates and features and find the cheapest that suits your needs.

Positive characters of a good loan

  • The loan comes with a fixed interest rate. Mortgage loans are examples of good loans with fixed interest rates. Look for a lender who has a fixed interest rate and has set specific payments month after month. A loan with an adjustable loan rate means that it is subject to spikes in market interest rates, which can change the terms of engagement of the loan midway the repayment term.

Take extra care of this feature because some loan lenders offer loans with fixed interest rates for a period of time, then it is switched to the adjusted interest rate. However, the loans with a long fixed period of time are of little value if it finances short-term projects.

  • A good loan rate has a low interest rate. Different lenders offer different kinds of interest rates on the same kind of loans. It is advisable to shop around for lenders with low interest rates because it even causes the loan repayments to be low.
  • Consider a loan with an auto-pay feature. It is important for your credit record and history that you pay your loan without delay and pay in full. An auto-pay feature is convenient as it helps you stay current and keeps you away from attracting additional charges due to delayed payment. Borrow a loan that you know you can afford.
  • Seek a loan with installment options, such as small loans which can be paid back in installments possibly monthly over a fixed period.
  • Consider the loan to value ratio which is simply gotten by dividing the loan amount by the appraised value or sales price of the asset purchased. Lenders offer from 70% to 80% of the LTV. This is important because as if you are borrowing to purchase a building worth $ 1,000,000 you might get a loan of up to $ 600,000. If you have a good credit score the loan amount might be maximized.
  • A debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) is a loan sizing factor which is the ratio of your net income to the rate of annual debt. This can be a limiting factor, however, lenders give a DSCR of between 1.15 and 1.25. Look for a loan product with the lowest DSCR.
  • Check on the amortization period of the loan. The amortization period is the time required to repay the entire amount. Some loans have long amortization periods which mean low payments periodically. Consider long amortization periods on loans for it increases your chances for more loans and potentially greater returns.



Do Cheap Loans Exist?

The idea of borrowing money is for it to cost less money as much as possible. Yes, there are cheap loans in existence and they are accessible to borrowers. Apart from knowing how to access cheaper loans you need to know how you can save on the loan cost. You can make a cheap loan, cheaper for you. Tips on how to save costs on loans will get you to pay even less for money borrowed.

Tips on reducing the cost of your loan.

  1. Repay outstanding loans with your savings. First, you need to confirm that early repayment does not attract high charges. If you have savings which you can use, you can offset loan debts with them.
  2. If there is an option of switching to a low interest loan you can switch. Some lenders will give you the option of taking a shorter deal for the loan. Taking a shorter deal or a shorter term to pay a loan, you pay high monthly installments, but you save up on the interest rate paid overall. All you have to be sure of is that you can afford the high repayment amount needed before you switch. You need to be sure if it will attract early repayment charges. In case you pay £ 8,000 in 12 months you might attract additional charges.
  3. Some loans are specially used to consolidate the debts into one. This allows you to merge your loans, though it is hard to obtain a consolidation loan. This option should be considered if all other options have failed. Consolidating of loans is secured against your home. Consolidated loans are attractive with low repayment installments and low interest rates, but in case of default you risk losing your property. So it would just be advisable to stick to your loans and offset them one by one.
  4. This will need a disciplined person, consider settling your loans with credit cards. If you have a good credit score consider transferring your credit card deals to your bank account. These credit card deals are often low in interest or interest-free. The transfers can be used to pay loans and bank overdrafts.
  5. Making extra payments on your loan can help you achieving repaying your loan early. Organize with your lender about how you can make extra payments with your loan to reduce the overall cost. It is a requirement that the payments of more than £ 8,000 attract 1% interest on the total amount paid. If the loan is in its final year it can attract a maximum penalty of 0.5% of the total amount paid.
  6. Lenders do sell payment protection insurance together with credit cards and loans. Most borrowers are not aware of this and they are not aware of them paying the insurance premiums. Also, once you have repaid your loan in total you are entitled to get your money the money you have paid on the premiums back. It might have cost you hundreds when repaying your loan, but it is worth it because you can claim it back.

Cheap loans are available in the market just do a proper market research before you settle for one. Remember, there are tips to make the loans even cheaper for the sake of your financial status.


Steps to Get a Loan

Acquiring a loan is a process and knowledge about the process makes it easier to successfully apply for a loan. A loan is used can be used for the purchase of assets or covering costs of a life event as you would wish to.

The process has several steps which need to be accomplished so you can get a loan.

Step 1: The first step to get a loan is realizing the fact that you need extra money for something. Consider your current financial circumstance and if you cannot cover the cost of the intended purchase or an event, a loan can be the next best decision. With a good credit score you might get a loan with a lower APR, but with bad credit getting a co-signer is the best chance you might have to get a low APR loan.

Figure out how much money you need, how long you might take to repay and the amount of payments you can afford.

Step 2: Explore the various loans offered by lenders and find the type you are comfortable with. There are unsecured and secured loans; there are variable and fixed rate loans; there are payday loans and instalment loans. Just note down the different features you would consider a loan and look for a loan with the features.

Step 3: When you find the one that suits you look at the different lenders offering the same type of loan to compare the terms of engagement. Different lenders vary with the terms of engagement and the repayment methods. With a good credit score, you can get favorable loan terms.

Step 4: Before taking the bold step to apply for a loan, this is an important step find out the criteria for basic eligibility for a loan. Access yourself and be sure that you meet the basic eligibility criteria before you apply. Also, take time to check the lender APR range, mostly this is listed online. You need to know what your credit score means when you get a loan.

Step 5: Compare the different options of loans you find. Compare the fees charged by different lenders and any other favorable features that fit you. As you compare the eligibility criteria and APR offered.

Step 6: Get all documents needed for application ready. Most of these documents are summed up as documents to confirm your identity, your address, your income and confirm other financials as requested by the lender. If it is a loan with collateral extra documentation will be needed on the collateral.

Step 7: Once you have identified your needs, you identify the right loan for you, you have identified your ideal lender and documents are in order, it’s time to apply for a loan. Most lenders have an online application option. Check the turnaround time between the approval and receiving of the funds. Some lenders promise hours before approval while others go up to several weeks, the time varies with different loans and lenders.

Step 8: After submitting the application you get a pre-approval confirming the price of the asset you want to buy.

Step 9: The loan is processed and you receive that notification from the lender on the approval of your loan request.

Step 10: The lender services the loan and waits for time to collect payments.