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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.

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Finance […]

Tight For Cash? Avoid Payday Loans With These 3 Alternatives

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View photo. As the New Year is underway, personal financial security once more comes to the forefront of financial consciousness. Holiday spending often leaves many in uncomfortable positions, especially if nickel-and-dime budgeting is not a personal forte. While adequate planning is ideal, January often rushes in and meets the well-intended with an emaciated pocketbook ledger. It is important in these situations to prudently remember that quick fixes can lead to debt traps that could quicksand tight budgeting practices. Instead of letting anxiety run rampant and potentially ruin volatile financial situations, take time to consider all available options. Related Link: Spend Too Much On Gifts? Here’s How To Recover From A Broken Holiday Budget

Avoid Payday Loans

Often advertising too-good-to-be-true promises, payday advance loan companies feed upon the desperate and those in search of a momentary (vs. permanent) fix. Recently, these companies have come under severe scrutiny from the Better Business Bureau , various Centers for Lending Responsibility and federal agencies — calling them out for exorbitant fees and interest rates.

According to the federal agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 62 percent of payday loans, “are made to people who extend the loans so many times they end up paying more in fees than the original amount they borrowed.” The report continued by stating that more than 80 percent of all loans go unpaid by the next pay-period.

Because of this spiraling trend, 22 states have limited or completely banned payday advance loan practices. Unfortunately, that still leaves the practice fairly accessible to vulnerable individuals. Before considering payday loans, consider looking into other, more reliable and permanent solutions.

1. Credit Union Loans

While most other small loan options will require a credit check, the fees and interest rates are inevitably lower than payday loans. Additionally, because of the checks involved in the practice, promptly repaying federal credit union loans can boost credit scores. Receiving a small line of credit or a STS (Short-Term Small) loan from a credit union is an attractive alternative for decreasing momentary financial right spots.

Each credit union functions differently, but there are federal regulations that all federal credit unions must follow, such as the maximum allowable APR percentage, set caps and a minimum enrollment period with the credit union. These stipulations are in place to protect the credit unions and the individuals looking to borrow. According to the federal credit unions’ government-run website, these practices are in place to provide “consumers with an alternative to borrowing from potentially predatory payday lenders.”

Related Link:3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Checkbook Balancing

2. Unsecured Personal Loans

These small loans are typically available to those with high credit scores and do not use property as collateral. The benefit of these loans is the extended amount of time granted to repay the amount borrows and a fixed payment schedule. The interest for unsecured personal loans is higher than HELOC loans. As with credit union loans, each institution functions uniquely; therefore, looking into more than one bank and comparing terms and interest rates is recommended.

3. Personal Lines Of Credit

While the downfalls of holding credit cards are widely publicized, one attractive benefit of opening a personal line of credit is that the interest rates only apply to the amount borrowed. Unlike personal loans (either through a credit union or bank), borrowing the credit limit is possible without applying for a new loan. In other words, if a line of credit has a $5,000 cap, the borrower can perpetually borrow $5,000 as long as the previously borrowed amount is repaid.Used wisely, personal lines of credit can help individuals get out temporary tight spots.

Whatever method is chosen to ease minor financial discomfort, take the time to explore all options and compare the long-term implications before prematurely digging yourself deeper into unnecessary, near-impossible-to-repay debt. Momentary financial issues do not need to be death sentences for your financial health. Invest in yourself and research all available options before acting impulsively.

See more from Benzinga

3 Tips For A Year-End Tax CheckupSpent Too Much On Gifts? Here’s How To Recover From A Broken Holiday Budget5 Holiday Gift Ideas That Will Help, Not Hinder, Family Budgeting

FinanceLoansPayday LoansUnsecured Personal Loans […]

Key backer may give up on RadioShack

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

A key backer for RadioShack may be giving up.

Just a year ago, Salus Capital (HRG) was the savior behind a $250 million cash injection to help struggling RadioShack (RSH). But that relationship has quickly soured, and on Tuesday, RadioShack said Salus is taking steps to call the loan, which was only formalized one year ago.

The lender continues to be unimpressed with the electronics retailer’s turnaround plan. According to RadioShack, Salus objected in particular to the $120 million cash infusion Radio Shack received in October from one of its largest shareholders. That cash was supposed to help RadioShack hobble through the holiday season.

About seven months after Salus made the loan, it rejected RadioShack’s plan to close 1,100 stores. The company instead closed about 200 locations.

RadioShack reintroduced the plan to close 1,100 more stores in late October, but Salus has yet to respond, according to the retailer.

RadioShack CEO Joe Magnacca called the lender selfish.

“Now, prompted by their narrow self-interest, they appear to be trying to manufacture a problem during the critical holiday shopping season in an effort to get out of a loan on which they have already reaped more than $35 million in fees and interest payments,” he said in a statement.

Magnacca called for Salus to walk back its threat to cancel the loan and instead back the retailer’s turnaround plan. He said the decision hurts “other creditors, the hundreds of communities we serve, the many other businesses we support and the jobs of more than 25,000 hard-working people.”

A Salus spokesman did not have an immediate response.

Related: RadioShack still stuck in the 1980s

Moody’s has warned RadioShack could be out of cash by the end of next year, and even Magnacca admitted the company could be near bankruptcy.

The company’s stock is down more than 70% this year, and dropped just over on 1% Tuesday morning before the news. Trading was halted for the announcement.

First Published: December 2, 2014: 12:30 PM ET

[…]

New Offers from Upromise by Sallie Mae Means More Opportunities to Earn Cash Back for College This Holiday Season

NEWARK, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

With the holiday shopping season in full force, now’s the time for families to earn even more cash back for college through Upromise by Sallie Mae. Every Tuesday through Dec. 23 is “10 Percent Tuesday”, where Upromise members can earn 10 percent cash back for college with featured partners including: Sephora, Shoebuy.com, Fossil, Lord & Taylor and QVC.com. A full list of participating retailers is available on Upromise.com. Last holiday season Upromise members earned a collective $14 million towards college savings.

This holiday season, Upromise offers even more ways to save for college. Those who shop using the Upromise World MasterCard can earn an extra 5 percent cash back for a total of 10 percent at most partners on online purchases on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every other day of the year. Also, on Nov. 26, Upromise will feature a free shipping day, aggregating dozens of partners’ free shipping offerings in one place for members.

Additionally, Upromise is launching personalized in-store offers for members who have a Upromise World MasterCard registered to their Upromise account. Members will see a list of in-store offers at nearby retailers and restaurants online, and the percentage cash back at each partner.

“Many families try to strike a balance between their budget and things like college savings goals, and the holidays can put stress on that balance,” said Erin Condon, vice president, Upromise by Sallie Mae. “With Upromise, families can purchase their holiday gifts with peace of mind that they’re also putting away a little bit more for college.”

Grandparents, friends, and other family can link their shopping to a Upromise account to contribute money for college for that child or children. In fact, Upromise members with friends and family who contribute to their account earn 3 times more college savings on average.

Free and easy to join, Upromise by Sallie Mae allows families to earn cash back for college from everyday purchases by shopping online with partners such as Groupon, Macys.com, WalMart.com and BestBuy.com. Through Upromise, shoppers earn real cash rewards that can be put towards saving and paying for college including repayment of an eligible student loan, a Sallie Mae high-yield savings account, eligible 529 college savings plans or even cash back in the form of a check.

To date, Upromise members have collectively earned more than $850 million. To learn more, visit Upromise.com.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, insurance, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Sallie MaeUpromise Contact:

Sallie Mae

Abigail Harper, 302-451-0230

abigail.harper@salliemae.com […]

Payday Loans Are Risky Route to Quick Cash

Published: Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.

The holiday shopping season is coming up, and people in search of some quick spending capital might strongly consider taking out a payday loan. Think about it — it’s a quick source of cash without the need for the credit checks. It sounds too good to be true.

That’s because it is.

More than 19 million people struggling with their finances take out one of these unsecured personal loans each year without seeing the danger signs pointing to their finances, like insanely high, triple-digit interest rates.

Before funding your post-Black Friday Christmas shopping with a payday loan, look at some of these simpler — and reasonably safer — ways to get some money fast.

1. Take out a payday alternative loan.

Yes, these actually exist. Veridian Credit Union, for example, offers a payday alternative loan with a maximum loan amount of $1,000 and a six-month repayment term at an interest rate of about 20 percent (usually regardless of a borrower’s credit score). While not the lowest interest rate, it’s more manageable than the high interest and short repayment terms of a payday loan. Another option is to consult with your bank or credit union about a small personal loan with better security, terms and interest.

2. Get a cash advance from your credit card.

Another similar yet less expensive option is to contact your credit card carrier for a modest cash advance. Again, the interest rates might not be the lowest, but this time, you’re borrowing against your own credit limit and not some third-party payday provider. If the cash advance option seems too insurmountable to you, simply use your credit card for your holiday shopping and avoid using it again until you’ve paid down your balance.

3. Withdraw from your emergency fund.

If the added interest of using your credit card is too much to deal with, you can always try taking just enough cash from your emergency fund to cover holiday shopping expenses. Since you act as your own lender here, this loan is entirely up to you to repay — but financial discipline is important. Let too much time go by, and you might never get around to replenishing what you borrowed, and you might not have enough money if a real emergency arises.

4. Ask your employer for an advance.

Your job might permit you a cash advance taken from your next paycheck. It’s not a loan, so you won’t have to deal with interest or repayment because it’s money that you have earned. However, keep in mind that if you ask for $200, be prepared for your next paycheck to reflect that difference. It’s also wise not to make a habit of asking for cash advances. Request some holiday overtime; the extra hours can yield you some extra cash.

5. Sell, pawn or auction off unwanted belongings.

Now’s a better time than ever to sell some of those old things taking up space in your house. It could be anything from a used cellphone to furniture, vintage clothing, appliances and more. Go the online route, like eBay, Amazon Marketplace or Craigslist. Visit local pawn shops or thrift stores and see what they’ll offer for your items.

6. Reduce your spending.

In the spirit of the holidays, is there anything you can temporarily cut back on — or eliminate entirely — to gain some Christmas cash? Put your gym membership on hold for a month or two, cook at home more than eating out, and save on gas by taking public transportation. Aim to spend less disposable income on clothes and entertainment. Some financial experts even suggest adjusting the tax withheld from your paycheck so you’ll have more cash available now versus later.

7. Open a holiday savings account.

This is not a source of “quick” money per se, but if you’re in a cash crunch this holiday, open a savings account designed to save money for holiday shopping. Your bank or credit union of choice might have its own version that can give you higher interest and generous deposit limits. Start now and have plenty of reserve money available by Christmas 2015.

Use these tips as a start and brainstorm some more ways you might be able to save money during the holidays. Asking a friend or family member to lend money can be a good option during a financial crunch or crisis, but it’s not always recommended. Borrowing from parents or siblings and then using that money to purchase gifts for them isn’t very considerate.

[…]

Alternatives to risky payday loans | GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

The holiday shopping season is coming up, and people in search of some quick spending capital might strongly consider taking out a payday loan.

More than 19 million people struggling with their finances take out one of these unsecured personal loans each year without seeing the danger signs pointing to their finances, like insanely high, triple-digit interest rates.

Before funding your post-Black Friday Christmas shopping with a payday loan, look at some other ways to get money fast.

1. Take out a payday alternative loan.

Yes, these actually exist. Veridian Credit Union, for example, offers a payday alternative loan with a maximum loan amount of $1,000 and a six-month repayment term at an interest rate of around 20 percent.

2. Get a cash advance from your credit card.

Again, the interest rates might not be the lowest, but this time, you’re borrowing against your own credit limit.

3. Withdraw from your emergency fund.

If the added interest of using your credit card is too much to deal with, you can always try taking just enough cash from your emergency fund to cover holiday shopping expenses.

4. Ask your employer for an advance.

Your job might permit you a cash advance taken from your next paycheck. It’s not a loan, so you won’t have to deal with interest or repayment because it’s money that you have earned.

5. Sell, pawn or auction off unwanted belongings.

Now’s a better time than ever to sell some of those old things taking up space in your house. It could be anything from a used cell phone, to furniture, vintage clothing, appliances and more.

— from wire reports

[…]

Hedge Fund Monarch Said to End Talks on RadioShack Loan

Monarch Alternative Capital LP abandoned negotiations to take over a $140 million loan to RadioShack Corp. (RSH) as the electronics retailer struggled to reach a deal with lenders on a turnaround plan, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Monarch, run by Michael Weinstock, backed out talks it was leading with two other hedge funds to acquire the asset-backed senior loan and renegotiate the terms, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. The company continues to talk with the other funds and with other potential lenders, one of the people said.

RadioShack is seeking to refinance the debt to loosen terms that may restrict the amount it can borrow under the loan in March, the people said. That would give the company time to implement a turnaround plan and avoid a cash crunch that management said in a Sept. 11 regulatory filing may lead to bankruptcy.

The loan is part of a $585 million funding package arranged last month by RadioShack’s largest shareholder, Standard General LP, that gave the retailer enough cash to operate through the holiday season. Any deal to refinance the debt will be contingent on whether a key RadioShack lender, Salus Capital LLC, agrees to a company plan to close underperforming stores, one of the people said. Salus owns part of a $250 million, second-lien loan.

Its initial plans to close as many as 1,100 stores were blocked by lenders including Salus earlier in the year, limiting to less than 200 of the sites that could be shuttered. Salus is affiliated with Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Group Inc. Closing unprofitable sites would help the chain preserve cash.

RadioShack had 5,387 outlets on Aug. 2, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Turnaround Plan

Merianne Roth, a spokeswoman at RadioShack, David Glazek, a spokesman for Standard General, and Stacey Maman, a spokeswoman at New York-based Monarch, declined to comment.

Salus attempted to buy as much as $465 million of RadioShack’s senior loans last month, two people with knowledge of the discussions told Bloomberg at the time.

Distressed hedge fund investors are interested in buying the struggling retailer’s senior debt to position themselves in restructuring negotiations in case the company files for bankruptcy.

Standard General’s October financing that retired the senior debt held by GE Capital, General Electric’s finance arm, altered the loan terms and provided the company with additional capital.

RadioShack has about $1.06 billion of debt, comprising $325 million of senior unsecured notes due in May 2019 and loans maturing December 2018.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jodi Xu Klein in New York at jxu205@bloomberg.net; Jeffrey McCracken in New York at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shannon D. Harrington at sharrington6@bloomberg.net; Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Mitchell Martin

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[…]

Pay Off Your Car Loan Faster Using These 7 Tricks

When they’re purchasing a car, it’s almost second nature for many consumers to secure a loan without giving much thought to the interest that comes with them.

Don’t believe me? Think about the last time you secured an auto loan. Did you use an amortization calculator beforehand to determine how much you’d end up paying for the vehicle over the life of the loan? In some cases, you will find that the cost of the loan actually outweighs the benefit of owning the vehicle.

Fortunately, there are ways to escape the wrath of the auto loan interest monster. Here are a few simple options to consider:

1. Round up

Not only will you save in interest by rounding up to the nearest hundred when you pay your bill, but the car will be paid off faster.

To illustrate, let’s assume you purchase a car for $20,000 with an interest rate of 3.9 percent and term of 48 months. This yields a monthly payment of $450.69. However, rounding this figure up to $500 will shave five months off of the payment term.

2. Refinance

If you can secure a lower interest rate, refinancing may be worth a shot. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you should take advantage of the lower monthly payments and extended terms to give your wallet a break, or you will end up paying more in interest.

3. Double up one month

Have you been stung by the luck bug and been gifted an unexpected sum? Use your newfound money, whether it be a tax refund, work bonus or inheritance, to make at least one extra payment for the year. You can also divide the monthly payment by 12 and remit this amount each month in additional to your usual amount to achieve the same result.

Using the same example from above, this method will shave three months off your payment term.

4. Cut costs

Do you find it difficult to scrape up extra funds to pay down the auto loan balance faster? Start by making cuts to variable expenses. Need a few ideas? Skip pampering sessions and dining out for a while or cut all the high-end entertainment. Also, set a grocery budget for the week and stick to it.

Still no luck? Try selling some of the items lying around your home that you no longer need.

5. Pay often

This will require stellar record keeping on your part, but if you frequently allocate residual income to the loan, you will knock interest out of the park. However, be sure to speak with the lender about any restrictions or penalties that may apply for early loan payoffs.

6. Never skip a payment

The skip-a-payment option is an enticing offer my credit union likes to make around the holiday season to help customers free up funds for gifts and travel expenses. But don’t fall for the trap, because you will have to make it up in the end. The lender simply extends the loan to account for the extra payment and accompanying interest.

7. Make biweekly payments

If permitted by your lender, make half the monthly payment each time you get paid to reduce the interest paid over the life of the loan. Reasoning? Well, there are 26 pay periods in the year, so you will end up making one extra payment for the year using this approach.

If you are in the market for a new or new-to-you car, you always have the option of stashing a nice sum of cash away so you can afford to make a handsome down payment. This will equate to a more affordable monthly payment from inception, and enable you to pay off the car faster with excess income.

This article was originally published on MoneyTalksNews.com as ‘Pay Off Your Car Loan Faster Using These 7 Tricks’.

More from Money Talks News

High Car Insurance? Low Credit Score May Be at FaultBuying a Car Is More Stressful Than Saying ‘I Do’These Cars Will Suck Your Wallet DryPersonal Finance – LifestyleInvesting Education […]

Is China really running out of cash?

The bank officer noted the system maintenance is scheduled to coincide with the bank holiday, with domestic transfers delayed through February 2 and foreign currency transfers delayed until February 7, the end of the holiday.

(Read more: China central bank offers emergency funds to banks)

For his part, Chang isn’t convinced by Citigroup’s explanation.

“I know in the past they’ve had similar notices from the PBOC (People’s Bank of China) before Chinese New Year. But they haven’t been in the time of a credit crunch and therefore that’s the critical difference,” Chang told CNBC.

He noted there were similar moves in June during a credit crunch, with some large Chinese banks shutting down ATMs. “Clearly, then it was not a systems upgrade. It was a credit crunch. We saw a credit crunch in December. And so I’m saying that essentially we’ve got the same thing this time as well,” Chang added.

Others have expressed skepticism of Chang’s view.

(Read more: China’s bad-loan skeletons to haunt markets)

“If there was really a serious cash crunch, why do this thing on the 30th of January, why not do it now,” asked Vasu Menon, vice president of wealth management for OCBC Bank in Singapore, adding that not only does the timing coincide with the bank holiday, but that banks frequently do system maintenance over holidays.

Menon told CNBC he believes the country’s new government would step in to prevent a potential cash crunch.

Some general bearishness on China may be spurring these latest concerns

“The cottage industry of who’s going to be the caller for the collapse of China has expanded,” said Peter Alexander, managing director at Z-Ben Advisors.

While this particular fund transfer brouhaha may just have been a false alarm, others did note general concerns about China’s banking system.

(Read more: Cash crunch signals policy dilemma for China’s central bank)

“We have heard in recent weeks of certain banks, out there in the region, the backwater, closing the doors because they’re not able to provide cash for their investors,” noted Gary Dugan, chief investment officer for Asia and the Middle East at Coutts.

[…]

No holiday cheer when payday loans comes due

Right now, your friendly payday loan agents are working the phones, asking the regular customers if they wouldn’t like a little extra cash for the holidays.

Make no mistake, most payday loan users are regulars. A report this year by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that almost 90 percent of storefront payday loans go to borrowers with seven or more transactions a year.

Repeat customers are the cash cow. If payday lending worked as it is often portrayed — as a helping hand to tide one over until the next paycheck — you wouldn’t see a quick cash business on nearly every corner in low-income neighborhoods of Kansas City.

The industry is touting a new poll that depicts a happy universe of customers thrilled with the chance to borrow at interest rates that nationwide exceed 300 percent when extended over a year’s time. In Missouri, the average annual percentage rate exceeds 400 percent.

“The survey found an overwhelming majority of borrowers are very satisfied or satisfied with their recent payday loan experience, carefully weigh the risks and benefits before taking out a loan, and value having the option to take a payday loan,” the industry reported.

Not surprisingly the poll, by Harris Interactive, was commissioned by Community Financial Services Association of America, a trade group for storefront payday lenders. (As opposed to online lenders, a truly insidious offshoot.) It is based on interviews with customers of four chains, including QC Holdings of Overland Park.

Almost all of the borrowers said they value having a place to go for quick cash. Ninety-eight percent said they were at least somewhat satisfied with the payday loan experience. They appreciated the customer service, convenience and simplicity.

Most said they understood the terms.

But customer satisfaction isn’t in dispute. Most storefront loan shops are friendly places where a customer can find a sympathetic ear.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, which conducted its own extensive research into short-term lending, acknowledged as much in a report.

But more than half the customers surveyed in the Pew report said they felt taken advantage of as their loans dragged out and fees piled up. “The stated price tag for an average $375, two-week loan bears little resemblance to the actual cost of more than $500 over the five months of debt that the average user experiences,” the report says.

Perhaps the message of the dueling surveys is that people with moderate to low incomes appreciate any lending option, even one they understand as destructive.

From a public policy standpoint, there is nothing good about 12 million Americans a year being saddled with interest rates that would make a loan shark cringe.

The practice sucks money from communities and squanders public assets. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that nearly one in four borrowers use retirement income or government benefits to pay down their debts.

The Pew report looked at how payday consumers manage to repay their outstanding balances. Most eventually saved up enough money. But almost one in five said they borrowed from family and friends. Others used a tax refund, or pawned or sold possessions. A smaller number used credit cards or bank loans.

Some of those options are better than others. But, the point is, if they are available to repay a payday loan, they may be available to cover emergency expenses in the first place.

The industry’s business plan is about grooming a clientele, whether folks need the service or not. That’s the true aim of the holiday solicitations. Want to give yourself a gift that will keep on giving? Just say no.

[…]