Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Save Money on Cab Fare

If you’ve tried to get a cab lately and got frustrated at how difficult it was or how expensive the cab trip was, I have some good news for you. Innovative applications and websites are popping up all over the Internet to help you find a cab quickly and for the cheapest possible price.

One of these neat new websites is Just select the city that you're traveling in, type in where you're located and where you'd like to go, and search for rides. Say for instances you're looking for a King County taxi that you can share. Hop on the web and search for others going the same route and share the fare. There is even a fare calculator that lets you know how much it will cost you before you get into the car. Plus, if somebody wishes to join you in the cab, then you can split the fare and then both of you save money!
Currently, this is located in most of the major United States cities, but it is getting jump started in major overseas cities too. As more and more people begin using applications and websites like CabCorner, even more people will be able to split rides. That means that even if this doesn't work for you right now because of some inconvenience—say it takes too long to find someone to split a ride with you--stay up to date with CabCorner and similar websites because eventually enough people will join it to make it worth your time. Then, it will be easy to find a shareable ride wherever you are.

Wheeels is trying pretty much the same thing that CabCorner is doing. It's just another way that you might be able to find somebody to share your ride with. Since there isn't a consolidated monopoly over taxi sharing services, it's a good idea to try to join as many as you possibly can to increase your chances of being able to split a cab quickly. Wheeels offers that convenience to you.

But then, there is Uber. They aren’t so much focused on letting you share a cab as they are at hooking you up with a taxi driver as quickly as possible. They use the cutting-edge of technology in order to cut through all the inconveniences that can sometimes accompany finding a taxi driver. All that you have to do is use your Android or iPhone with their application, and you can get a direct hold of the cheapest cab driver without having to waste a bunch of time on hold or leaving messages on peoples’ answering machines.

Get Taxi
Get Taxi ups the ante where Uber left off. They have that same great ability to order a taxi using your mobile phone. Then they combine it with the ability to get updates on where your driver is, how long it will be until he or she gets there, and all kinds of other useful information that takes the worrying out of finding a taxi. It hunts down who offers the best rates to save you money. Plus, it integrates the ability to rate drivers and read the ratings other customers have given drivers. This will help make sure that you don't end up getting in a taxi only to find that the driver is cranky, mean, or otherwise not so fun--all while saving you your hard-earned green paper!

Stita Taxis is a Seattle taxi service running a clean and green fleet of Prius to take you where you need to go.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is peer-to-peer lending ever a good alternative?

Peer-to-peer lending (often referred to as p2p) has become increasingly popular in the United States over the past six years. This new way of loaning money was seen as advantageous, but it does have many difficulties.

Peer-to-peer loans are financial transactions between individuals that do not need the input of a traditional financial institution or bank. The lender and borrower have a more direct connection.

Sometimes the peers can be friends or family members, but mostly these loans are arranged through firms with online websites. The use of internet technologies has enabled this idea to grow and prosper.

Peer-to-peer lending is not philanthropic however, so individuals who invest money into the agreement to allow the other party to borrow do expect a return.

Generally the process involves two parties, the borrower and the lender. Lending money can be highly lucrative because of the high interest rates charged.

Individuals with money want it to earn more money, but with low interest rates on savings, there is little positive return. Instead, these individuals are choosing to loan their money to others and receive a higher interest rate in return.

For borrowers, there are some advantages too, although the process also carries risk and difficulties with what some have seen as exploitation in an unregulated market.

In America, the two major firms have seen usage soar in recent years. After the global economic recession began in 2007, their popularity increased and has continued to grow.

These difficult economic times have meant that many people feel they cannot find the financing they need from traditional banks or businesses. For some people, desperation has led them to financing their loans in this way.

Also, peer-to-peer lending is seen as being more flexible than traditional sources of loans. For many people, the attraction is the immediacy of the agreement. Removing banks from the equation can seem like a saving because you are not paying their transaction fees.

However, the rates offered on loans can be as high as a normal bank or financial institution would offer and in some cases, even higher.

If you have a low FICO score and need money to finance a purchase, it may be tempting to use peer-to-peer lending. Be aware that unfortunately, not all transactions work out well.

There has been much criticism of the peer-to-peer lending model as one that can illustrate predatory lending or loan sharking. Both of these are unwelcome situations in which to find yourself.

Predatory lending is often defined as lending that is deceptive, fraudulent or unfair, whilst loan sharks are known for using nefarious methods such as blackmail or violence to extract money from borrowers.

Research suggests that most peer-to-peer lenders are not regulated in the same way as other financial institutions. This means that borrowers may find themselves with more problems should the transaction not progress smoothly.

Peer-to-peer lending may seem that it has some advantages, but like most things in life, it is too good to be true in its entirety. Smart borrowers will always use qualified and regulated financial institutions for their money needs because this is the safest way.