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Calgary Council Cracks Down on City Payday Loan Operators

In the November 9th meeting of the Calgary City Council a report from the Calgary Planning Commission was presented on the subject of pawn shops and pay day loans in the Calgary area.

Of particular concern to the commission was the tendency for these businesses to coalesce

It reported that there were 82 payday lending […]

What is Debt Financing?

When a company needs to pay for something, it can pay with cash, or it may finance the purchase. Financing means that it gets the money from other businesses or sources, in return for obligations. Companies that are short on cash may need financing to pay for short-term needs or long-term capital expenditures.

There are two kinds of financing—debt financing and equity financing.

Equity financing means the company raises money by selling ownership shares in the business.

Debt financing happens when a company gets a loan and promises to repay the loan over time, with interest. Debt financing can come from a lender’s loan or from selling bonds to the public.

Loans usually require the borrower to offer collateral to guarantee repayment. This is called a secured loan. If the borrower defaults on a secured loan, the lender can take the collateral as repayment.

Various assets may be acceptable as collateral. For example, accounts receivable, real estate, equipment, securities, mortgages, inventory and merchandise might be acceptable to the lender. Having other people or companies sign as guarantors or endorsers may also work to secure a loan.

Selling bonds or commercial paper in the capital markets is another way to raise money through debt financing. This may at times be more economical or easier than taking a bank loan.

[…]

7 Ways to Build Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card

Unless you have a ton of cash at your disposal, you’ll probably need credit at some point in your life. Whether you’re buying a home, car or big-ticket luxury item, the first thing that most lenders typically look at is your credit score.

If you have limited or no credit history, you’ll need to begin building your credit and boost your score before you apply for a major loan. Unfortunately, many believe that opening and using a credit card is the only way to go.

Here are a few alternatives to help raise your credit scores without the magic plastic:

1. Ask companies to report on your behalf

Do you have any recurring bills that you pay on a monthly basis, such as rent, utilities, cable or a cellphone? Try giving the providers a call and request that they report your account activity to the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.

Do this only if you have responsible payment habits, as payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit scores and can have a significant impact if there is not a lot of other data in your credit reports.

Also, bear in mind that these companies are not obligated to report to the bureaus, and your request is simply a favor that they have the right to deny.

2. Become an authorized user on another credit card

Of course, there are pros and cons to becoming an authorized user. If the cardholder has a strong credit background, two thumbs up for you because signing on as an authorized user will enable their stellar behavior to improve your credit profile somewhat (perhaps not as much as you think). But, if things are the other way around, your credit scores could take a hit.

Either way, if you opt in and have a change of heart, the information will quickly vanish from your credit file when you request to be removed from the account.

3. Open an account with a credit union and take out a small personal loan

Some credit unions have restricted membership and limited accessibility, but credit unions generally offer financing options at lower interest rates than traditional banks. To give your credit score a boost, apply for a small personal loan.

If your request is denied, inquire about a secured loan in which your money, say, a certificate of deposit or savings account, will be used as collateral. The request will more than likely be approved because the risk to the institution is minimal. And you may have to pay a tad bit of interest, but the rate usually beats what’s available in the credit card world.

4. Apply for an installment loan

Installment loans paid in a timely manner over an extended period of time build your credit scores because they show creditors that you are a responsible borrower. The types of credit in your file make up only 10 percent of your score, but the impact has the potential to be greater if the information in your credit reports is limited.

Retailers sometimes offer promotional installment loans to customers with little to no introductory interest for a limited period of time. If you have the cash on hand, it may not be a bad idea to take this route. But be sure that you have the total sum of cash available upfront to make timely payments and eliminate the balance before the interest kicks in.

5. If you’re a student, take out a federal student loan

A credit check is not required to obtain a federal student loan. All you need to do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and you’re all set. Since it is an installment loan, it can help boost your credit score.

But don’t get the loan and blow through the money. Instead, aim for one that is subsidized and deposit the money into a safe interest-bearing account so the funds will be available when repayment starts.

6. Research peer-to-peer loans

Companies such as Prosper and Lending Club offer peer-to-peer loans in an environment where borrowers are connected with individual investors. The interest rates are usually lower than those of traditional financial institutions. And the lenders are eager to loan unsecured funds because the return they derive is competitive with other investments. (See “4 Things to Know About Peer Lending.”)

Most of the peer-to-peer lenders report to the major credit bureaus.

7. Try an alternative credit score

By reporting your payment history to an alternative to the big three credit bureaus, you can create a nontraditional credit score. Check out a service like Payment Reporting Builds Credit, known as PRBC, to learn more about how an alternative credit score service works.

Do you know of any other ways to improve your credit score without using a credit card? Feel free to share it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

For more tips on raising your score, watch this video by finance expert Stacy Johnson:

Watch the video of ‘7 Ways to Build Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card’ on MoneyTalksNews.com.

This article was originally published on MoneyTalksNews.com as ‘7 Ways to Build Your Credit Score Without a Credit Card’.

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Applying for a Short Term Business Loan Online? These 4 Steps Can Protect Your Startup.

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I recently met an entrepreneur who started a franchise in his mid-50s with funds from his 401k but was now in a tough spot. His first payroll check had just bounced and he was shaken up about it, as his franchise employed 30 people and he dreaded the thought of having to shutdown.

Like many others, this entrepreneur experienced sporadic cash-flow droughts in his first years of business. To rebound quickly, he took out cash advances that quickly led him into a cycle of renewals. Now, cash advance merchants claimed 30 percent of his monthly revenue.

Visit: Entrepreneur Bank Search — A search tool to help you discover local banks.

As the founder of a small-business loan advisory, my firm often receives calls from entrepreneurs who are stuck in a debt cycle. I see many cases where the entrepreneur realizes the risks of cash advances or short term business loans too late and they’re left repaying with huge percentages of their revenue, plus the expensive fees and interest rates.

Better standards for this self-regulated industry would help, but until those standards are in place, entrepreneurs need to educate themselves about this industry and the impact merchant cash advances might have on their business. Here are steps entrepreneurs should consider taking before signing the dotted line.

Related: How to Cure Entrepreneurial Brain Freeze

  1. Applying for a short term loan online or cash advance should always be your last resort because these forms of capital are often the priciest option. If you’re considering one of these loans take a step back and look at investment lenders or SBA lenders who will offer you much longer amortizations and reasonable interest rates.
  2. Before you take on one of these loans or advances, ask your vendors if they can be flexible with your payments. Even if the vendor charges you a fee, it will likely be cheaper than the short term online lender.
  3. If you do choose to pursue one of these loans or advances, the most important step is to calculate your daily payment to the lender. These payments will come out of your checking account daily for the life of the loan. Think long and hard if you will be able to handle these cash withdrawals.
  4. Also, the lenders or advance companies will often encourage you to take the shortest possible loan. In the cases where these loans are the only choice for your business, I encourage a borrower to take the longest possible loan, and get the smallest possible daily payment. While the longer loan will cost the borrower more dollars in the long run, you have to think about your cash flow. If you take the shorter term, you might be forced into a renewal half way through your loan or advance in order to keep up with the cash flow.

With the right education, entrepreneurs can keep running their businesses instead of getting trapped in a debt cycle until better standards for unregulated lenders are in place.

Visit: Entrepreneur Bank Search

[…]

Government Loans: Risky Business for Taxpayers

Obtaining a loan from the government now seems perfectly normal to most Americans, be the loans for education, business, healthcare, or whatever else.

Examples include Small Business Administration loans, where a potential business owner goes to the government to get startup cash, and student loans, where a college student borrows money for tuition or even living expenses. These loans can often be paid back with interest over the course of what is often several decades.

Other examples might include Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), or Rural Housing Services (RHS) loans, which differ from the former in the sense that they are government insured loans, yet the fundamental principle behind them remains the same: government is taking upon itself (via taxpayers) the risk behind making the loan.

Of course, private loans are also available, though those that do not employ government insurance or other subsidies usually come with higher interest rates. The higher interest rates in the purely-private sector come from the fact that the private entity making the loan must take on all the risk, instead of externalizing it to the taxpayers.

So, the reality of lower interest rates in government and government-subsidized loans means they are vitally necessary, right?

First of all, the government doesn’t “make money,” in the way that private entities do. There is only one way in which states initially accumulate revenue, and that is through taxation. This extorted wealth is originally made in the private sector. So, in order for a government to make a loan back to the private sector, that money must first be removed from the private sector via taxation.

Government Knows How To Best Spend Your Money

For private entities, however, when they make a loan and determine who qualifies for it, and at what interest rate, the private firm making the loan is basically determining at what price (i.e, interest rate) the firm feels adequately compensated for the risk of lending out this money, and for giving up direct control over that money for the duration.

To claim, therefore, that the government should be in the business of making loans because private loans are generally too costly or too inaccessible for buyers, is no different than saying that government must take individual’s money and use it in a way that the original owners (i.e., the taxpayers) themselves would determine to be reckless and irresponsible. While it is true that occasionally a government loan may be paid back with interest at the appropriate time, it would be absurd to suggest that politicians would be more knowledgeable about how a person’s money should be used than the person who originally created and owned the wealth in the first place.

But Government Should At Least Prevent Usury, Right?

Moreover, there are those who will say that private firms making loans should be restricted from charging “excessive” interest on their loans (i.e., usury). This is an example of a very well-meaning, but utterly damaging regulation. It is crucial to note the differences in time preference displayed by both the lender and the borrower. The lender’s time preference (in this case) is lower than that of the borrower’s, meaning that the lender prefers a larger sum of money in the future, and the borrower prefers a smaller sum now. To get money now, however, the borrower must pay for it in the form of interest.

This represents a healthy balance between lenders and borrowers. It is why loans are made. Laws passed that prohibit certain interest rates on loans are far more likely to hurt those who need the loans, than anyone else. As was previously stated, a firm or person making a loan must feel compensated for the risk of making the loan, and that compensation manifests itself in the interest rate. To restrict a firm from charging a certain percentage of interest on their loans will only reduce the amount of loans it gives out.

Taking Away Your Choices

If a potential borrower who is determined to be a rather high risk asks for a private loan, then their interest on that loan will be quite high, but at least in that situation, the borrower has the choice of taking the loan, or to not take the loan. In the end, the borrower will choose what he or she believes will most benefit him or her. Yes, the borrower might miscalculate and the loan might turn out to have been a bad idea, but at least the borrower had a choice.

On the other hand, if the amount of interest that could be charged on the loan were to be forced down via government regulation, then the firm or person making the loan would simply not offer the loan at all, as he or she would not feel their risk is justified by the legally-allowable interest rate.

Faced with a lack of loans, risky borrowers may then look to government and government-subsidized loans as an option, but we find here just another case of government offering itself as the (taxpayer-funded) solution to a problem it caused in the first place.

Image source: iStockphoto.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

[…]

Chequed out: Inside the payday loan cycle

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Jillane Mignon just needed cash to pay for day care.

Her job with the City of Winnipeg’s 311 program covered the bills, but not the $1,000 a month it cost to care for her son while she was at work.

“When there are [child care] subsidies, there are no spaces. When there are spaces, there’s no subsidy.”

So it started with a small loan from a payday lender. That took care of that month.

Story continues below

“And then when you get your paycheque, half your paycheque is already gone to pay the lender. So then you have to borrow again.”

At one point, she said, she owed money to four different payday loan outlets – all the money taken out to pay existing loans, plus their rapidly accumulating interest, and get her through to the next paycheque, which was quickly swallowed up in more loan payments.

When Mignon decided to dig herself out of payday loan debt once and for all, she did so “painfully.”

“The last time I took [out a payday loan] I said, ‘Whatever my paycheque comes back as after I pay them back, I’m going to live on,” she said. “Painfully.

“Food banks. Salvation Army. Swallow your pride.”

Read the series

Instability trap: When you’re income rich, but asset-poorCanadians want work. Why have so many stopped looking?Feb. 17: Life in the temp laneFeb. 23: Retirement lost

Graphic by Janet Cordahi

Fringe finances by postal code

It’s a familiar predicament for many – one that’s earned payday lenders and cheque-cashing outlets a reputation for exploiting people who need cash quickly and have no other option.

Money Mart came under fire shortly before Christmas for its practice of exchanging gift cards for half their value in cash. At the time, Money Mart said it was “offering customers a convenient, value-added product though this service.” It eventually suspended the practice.

Neither Money Mart nor the Cash Store would speak with Global News for this article.

But Stan Keyes, a former Minister and Liberal MP for Hamilton, Ont., and head of Canada’s Payday Loan Association, argues these businesses – licensed and regulated by provinces, he notes – are filling a need no one else is meeting.

“What alternative do borrowers have?” he asked.

Squash or regulate the industry out of existence, he warns, and you leave people who need small cash infusions quickly without other options.

“If licensed payday lenders were forced to close their doors, say due to overregulation, the demand for the small sum short term loan does not dry up,” he said. “So I suppose those who claim to speak for payday loan borrowers, some of them often misinformed, don’t mind forcing those who need the small sum financing to, what? Take their television off the wall and take it to a pawn shop?”

Keyes said the fees and interest rates (about $21 for $100 at Money Mart, for example), often criticized as high, are necessary because of the risk taken on by lenders who don’t do credit checks. He also thinks citing annual interest rates of several hundred per cent is misleading because these are short-term loans.

There are about 1,500 payday lender outlets across the country. They skyrocketed in growth in the early 2000s, then levelled off. A 2005 Financial Consumer Agency of Canada survey found about 7 per cent of Canadians say they’d used the services.

A Global News analysis has found payday lenders overwhelmingly concentrated in low-income neighbourhoods and neighbourhoods with a high proportion of people receiving social assistance.

(Keyes, for his part, argues they’re simply located where the commerce is.)

Global News used tax data obtained from Statistics Canada and business location information from Red Lion Data to map payday loan locations against income and social assistance.

Interactive: Explore the map below to see how payday lending locations correlate with social assistance levels in your neighbourhood. Click a circle or coloured shape for more information; click and drag to move around.

Payday loan stores and welfare rates »

Payday loan stores and welfare rates

Payday loan stores and income »

Payday loan stores and income

Most payday loan customers are lower middle class, says Jerry Buckland, a University of Winnipeg and Menno Simons College professor who’s written a book about the practices of these “fringe” financial institutions.

But the heaviest users – the ones who get trapped in a cycle of high-interest debt – are the poorest borrowers.

“It’s those people closer to the edge who aren’t able to pay that payday loan off.”

So maybe they take out another payday loan to fill the gap. And then they’re stuck.

The problem, Buckland argues, is that payday lenders fill a need that traditional banks aren’t.

“Mainstream banks have, over the course of 30 years, shut down more branches in lower-income neighbourhoods,” he said.

“A big thing right now that I see the feds pushing is this financial literacy. And while on the one hand I think financial literacy is important, it certainly doesn’t solve the problem of financial exclusion.”

Maura Drew-Lytle, spokesperson for the Canadian Bankers Association, says banks have done a lot to make themselves more accessible, including offering low-cost accounts for about $4 a month. And as of January, 2015, she said, they’re offering basic, no-cost accounts for low-income seniors, people on disability assistance, students and youth.

She also notes the number of bank branches in Canada “has actually been increasing.”

“Banks have been very focused on customer srvice over the last decade or so. You’ve seen big changes in branches. … It’s not just a line of tellers any more.”

But Tamara Griffith, Financial Advocacy and Problem Solving Program Coordinator at Toronto’s West Neighbourhood House, says there are still barriers in place – including something as basic as photo ID, the lack of which can limit what a person can do with a bank account.

She and her colleagues will often accompany people when helping them open an account, she said, to help demystify the process and ensure they get what they need.

“Because we know once you walk in, you’re being sold a whole bunch of things,” she said.

“You just want a bank account: You don’t need an overdraft, you don’t need a line of credit, you don’t need a credit card. And every time, it’s the same pitch. And we say, ‘Okay, no we just need a bank account.’”

Many of the people Griffith works with are using credit cards to supplement their income, she said – not for luxuries, but just to get by. They pay the minimum payment as long as they can until the accruing interest becomes financially ruinous.

Vancouver’s VanCity credit union took matters into its own hands a couple of years ago, says Linda Morris, the bank’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, Member and Community Engagement.

“We’d been seeing studies coming out of the States, but also Canada, about people who’d be underserved, or not served at all, by conventional banking,” she said.

So they did their own research – and found even some of the credit union’s own members reported using payday lenders of cheque-cashing facilities.

“That concerned us greatly, because we know the cycle of debt people can get into. … We have people come in who have three different payday lenders they owe money to.”

At the same time,” she added, “when you take a loan with a payday loan, you’re really not developing a credit history. And that’s really important also.”

Last April, VanCity launched its Fair and Fast loan program – essentially, small-scale loans, available within an hour. In July, they added a cheque-cashing component.

“We’re seeing very little delinquency. So far, people are paying back their loans. It seems to be working.

“The larger question, of course, is will we break the cycle.”

San Francisco is asking itself the same question.

In 2005, the city enacted a moratorium on new cheque-cashers and payday lenders.

“We felt at the time we were pretty saturated with those types of organizations,” said Leigh Phillips, director of the city’s Office of Financial Empowerment.

“Our regulatory authority is very, very limited – these are companies that are regulated by the states,” She said. But “we wanted to do something.”

Other cities followed suit with legislation of their own, she said – Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose among them.

That tackled one part of the problem. It’s still trying to measure how it’s doing on the other half – meeting the need that was driving the growth of these types of businesses in the first place.

The city also launched a Bank on San Francisco program, partnering with existing financial institutions to offer accessible, low-cost accounts.

In many cases, Phillips said, these were “second chance” banking products – for people with poor credit histories or who’d had bad experiences with banks in the past. They also addressed barriers ranging from identification requirements to often-incapacitating overdraft fees.

But while they surpassed their initial goal of getting accounts for 10,000 people in their first year, the program has been tougher to track since then. Phillips said it “looked like” about 80 per cent of those new clients kept their accounts open, which is good.

Just as importantly, she adds, “it’s made financial management a more concrete part of the anti-poverty conversation.”

‘That endless cycle … will drive you insane’

Jillanne Mignon got out of her payday loan debt – ‘painfully.’

Anna Mehler Paperny/Global News

Among the many things on Mignon’s to-do list once she graduates from her community economic development program at Toronto’s Centennial College is work with micro-loans.

“I like the model of microloans because it opens the lending market ot people who are normally shut out,” she said. “People who normally go to these, I call them loan sharks, these payday loan places these pawn shops, to get these monies and then they get caught in these ridiculous circles of high interest rates. …

“I know that endless cycle. It will drive you insane.”

Tell us your story: Have you been trapped in a payday loan cycle?

Note: We may use what you send us in this or future stories. We definitely won’t publish your contact info.

Report an error […]

Apple just took out a $6.5 billion loan even though it's sitting on $178 billion in cash

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View photo. China Daily/Reuters Apple sold $6.5 billion in bonds on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

That’s the same Apple that last week announced an record-breaking $18 billion profit over the holiday quarter.

It’s reasonable to ask: why would Apple — a company with $178 billion in cash — need a loan?

In short: taxes.

The vast majority of Apple’s cash hoard is held offshore.

Apple can defer taxes on that cash until it decides to bring it back to the U.S.

Apple doesn’t want to bring the money home, though. It could pay up to 35% of whatever it brings back to Uncle Sam, which could easily be a multi-billion dollar tax bill.

Apple wants a tax repatriation holiday, like the one recently proposed by Senators Barbara Boxer and Rand Paul.

The Boxer-Paul would tax cash Apple brought home at 6.5%, much lower than the rate it would otherwise pay.

But the prospects for the Boxer-Paul plan aren’t looking good. Senator Orrin Hatch, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has already expressed skepticism about it. And this bill hasn’t even been introduced yet.

Meanwhile, Apple still needs cash in the US. The $6.5 billion it raised will go towards stock repurchases, dividend payments, and debt repayments, according to Bloomberg.

With corporate taxes so high, and interest rates so low, it’s much cheaper for Apple to raise debt and pay it back with interest than to repatriate cash.

Unless we see corporate tax reform, Apple will probably keep raising money this way for the foreseeable future.

More From Business Insider

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Finance […]

HFF, Inc. Declares Special Cash Dividend for Shareholders of Record as of February 2, 2015

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF or the Company) announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1.80 per Common Share, payable February 13, 2015 to shareholders of record on February 2, 2015. The aggregate dividend payment will total approximately $67.8 million based on the number of shares of Class A Common Stock currently outstanding. This follows special cash dividends paid in December 2012 and February 2014 of $1.52 per share and $1.83 per share, or approximately $56.3 million and $68.2 million, respectively. When paid in February 2015, the combined special cash dividends paid by the Company since December 2012 will total approximately $192.3 million.

Business Comments

“Due to the extraordinary effort expended by the entire HFF Team during 2014 and the strong cash position resulting from such passion and dedication in satisfying our customers’ capital markets objectives, we are pleased to announce our Board of Directors has declared its third special cash dividend in the amount of $1.80 per Class A Common Share,” said Mark D. Gibson, the Company’s chief executive officer.

“As we have continually communicated to our shareholders and the market, we believe in three guiding principles relative to managing our cash position and returning capital to our shareholders. These three guiding principles are to 1) maintain sufficient working capital to operate the HFF platform commensurate with a ‘best in class’ real estate capital markets service firm, 2) maintain sufficient cash reserves to not only survive a downturn such as during 2008 and 2009, but also to thrive in such a downturn given the significant opportunities for growth generally afforded well-capitalized firms in difficult times, and 3) maintain sufficient cash reserves to grow our business pursuant to our strategic initiatives and to take advantage of unexpected opportunities as they arise. We have clearly demonstrated our commitment to returning capital to shareholders once we have satisfied our three guiding principles, as evidenced by the payment of $192.3 million to our shareholders through the three special dividends since December 2012,” said Mr. Gibson.

“As we stated in previous releases, if, in the future, we find ourselves in a similar position and can fully satisfy the three guiding principles outlined above, it would be our current intention to recommend to our Board of Directors to return capital to our shareholders in some amount depending on the competitive position of the Company and other strategic options that might be available to the Company, as well as the macro and micro economic conditions and the legal and regulatory environment at that time. Therefore, it is important to note that future special dividends, if declared, may vary in timing and amount as it relates to previous dividend payments,” said Mr. Gibson.

About HFF, Inc.

Through its subsidiaries, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. and HFF Securities L.P., the Company operates out of 23 offices nationwide and is one of the leading providers of commercial real estate and capital markets services, by transaction volume, to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. The Company offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, advisory services, equity placement, loan sales and commercial loan servicing.

Certain statements in this press release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Statements about our beliefs and expectations and statements containing the words “may,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “estimate,” “target,” “project,” “intend” and similar expressions constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested in forward-looking statements in this press release. Investors, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any of them to reflect actual results, any changes in expectations or any change in events. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: (1) general economic conditions and commercial real estate market conditions, including the recent conditions in the global markets and, in particular, the U.S. debt markets; (2) the Company’s ability to retain and attract transaction professionals; (3) the Company’s ability to retain its business philosophy and partnership culture; (4) competitive pressures; (5) the Company’s ability to integrate and sustain its growth; and (6) other factors discussed in the Company’s public filings, including the risk factors included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Additional information concerning factors that may influence HFF, Inc.’s financial information is discussed under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as in the Company’s press releases and other periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such information and filings are available publicly and may be obtained from the Company’s web site at www.hfflp.com or upon request from the HFF, Inc. Investor Relations Department at investorrelations@hfflp.com.

HFF, Inc. Contact:

HFF, Inc.

Mark D. Gibson,

214-265-0880

Chief Executive Officer

mgibson@hfflp.com

or

Gregory R. Conley,

412-281-8714

Chief Financial Officer

gconley@hfflp.com

or

Myra F. Moren,

713-852-3500

Director, Investor Relations

mmoren@hfflp.com […]

Rangers considering using Ibrox as security against new loan

LONDON (Reuters) – Scotland’s Rangers football club, battling to raise cash to stay afloat, said on Monday it was in talks to agree new funding which could use the club’s Ibrox stadium as security.

Rangers, the 54-times Scottish champions who had to reform as a fourth-tier club in 2012 after being wound up, said it was in talks with two of its stakeholders about raising funds to bolster the team, and that part of a deal could include using Ibrox as protection.

“Such a decision would not be taken lightly,” said the club.

According to media reports, two stakeholders – Sports Direct founder and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, and a wealthy consortium called the Three Bears – are separately ready to provide 10 million pound loans, with Ashley reported to want Ibrox as protection.

Rangers, which have also recently rejected two takeover deals, said it continued to need further, urgent short-term funding but that at the current time its assets, cash flow and business did not support a significant financing, leaving the stadium deal as an increasingly viable option.

It said it could also not issue shares in the club in the timeframe required.

In a separate statement, former Rangers director Dave King, whose New Oasis Asset Management vehicle owns almost 15 percent of the club, called for a general meeting to put forward resolutions for the removal of several directors.

King wants Chairman David Somers, CEO Derek Llambias, Finance Chief Barry Leach and James Easdale to be removed and himself and two others to be appointed directors. Rangers said it intended to have the notice withdrawn to avoid extra costs.

“In the meantime the directors will not be distracted from the more important matter of securing the future of the business,” it said.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Neil Maidment)

FinanceBoard & Management ChangesRangers football clubIbrox stadium […]

Choosing a Lender? Watch Out for These Costly Traps.

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Small-business owners seeking financing have hundreds of options thanks to a proliferation of lending firms and programs offering fast and easy solutions. But the reality is only a few of these choices will be the right fit for your nascent business. Although the lure of quick cash regardless of personal credit can be tempting, be wary of common traps when considering a lender for your company:

1. Know when business credit services are necessary — and when they absolutely are not. While business credit can be important as your businesses matures, it doesn’t make a difference for a startup applying for a loan. Startups are not expected to have a strong business credit file, so any firm extolling the necessity of business credit services to apply for a loan may actually be doing you a disservice.

Instead, concentrate on the strength of your personal credit, as lenders will focus on this more because you will ultimately be responsible for paying back the loan.

2. Know the price you pay for speed and convenience. Some short-term lenders and cash advance companies offer so-called “fast” loans with quick application processes and a lax review of personal credit. This speed and convenience comes at a cost, however. Entrepreneurs should be careful when considering a cash advance, especially if rates and pay off timeframes are extremely harsh. Some firms offer annualized percentage rates as high as 200 percent with amortizations as slow as three to four months — terms like these can be a nail in the coffin before a business is even birthed.

Protect your business by reading all terms carefully and make sure you have a clear plan to pay back the loan before signing on the dotted line for a cash advance.

Related: The Small-Business Guide to Getting the Cash You Need

3. Don’t outsource; know your own business plan. Be wary of any company insisting that you need a business plan and financial forecast in order to sell you an expensive business plan package. Additionally, if you’re paying someone else to do this work for you, then your business may have bigger problems. Having a direct hand in developing the business plan and financial projections ensures that you as the business owner know the ins and outs of the company and have defined goals for growth.

Have a good understanding of what makes your business tick in the present, and where it is realistically headed in the future to protect it from other unnecessary expenditures that you may encounter throughout the startup journey.

Visit: Entrepreneur Bank Search — A search tool to help you discover local banks.

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