Online Lending Set To Grow In 2015 With Social Lending Platforms

Following the 2008 economic downturn the need to find new and effective ways of raising funds over traditional bank and credit union based lending became apparent. One of the growth areas of Online lending has been social lending platforms, often referred to as peer to peer lending, which is now being used to fund movies, business startups and much more. The growth of this industry has seen many investment companies and large banks look to back smaller social lending companies from 2012 onwards in the US, a sign that 2015 could be the year when social lending platforms become more and more popular with those who would normally search out traditional lending opportunities.

One of the many reasons why both lenders and borrowers are being attracted to Online lending options, with markets now open for people with any credit rating and employment level to get involved in Online lending. Peer to peer lending options allow a lender to publish details of why they are in need of funding and how they intend to use the money they hope to raise, usually below $35,000. Lenders, backed by large banks or individuals lending as little as $25, can then choose to invest in the individual and receive a return in the form of interest on the funds borrowed. Many social lending platforms do publish details of the potential borrowers credit rating and other basic details to attempt to assist lenders in choosing which investment to make. Other platforms simply allow the individual to make a choice based on their gut feeling about the success of a product, business or personal venture.

The history of social lending in the US dates back to 2006 and has seen regular and sustained growth ever since. The growth of the industry saw the top two lenders in the US have over $2 billion worth of loans active by the end of 2012, growth has continued throughout 2013 and 2014 This growth is expected to hit even higher levels in the coming years as more and more people look for different ways of funding projects over the traditional loans offered by banks and credit unions. Low default rates ranging from 1.5 to 10 percent depending on the risk rating of the individual have also made this a popular option for lenders who are looking to obtain a long term return on an investment of any size. The peer to peer lending market is now described as a fully fledged investment opportunity, now backed by many of the top investment groups in the world that looks set to grow into 2015.

Atlantic Hurricane Season Not Living Up To Weather Channel Hype

This Atlantic hurricane season has seemed to have fallen off of the radar moving into the final days of the season’s supposed peak month. Through the 23rd of September, there have only been five named storms thus far. On Average, there are usually about eight named storms in the Atlantic hurricane season, and this data was collected from the National Hurricane Center Climatology. But, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes that we have experienced this season is right on track with the average for this season.
The last time that we experienced such a small amount of named storms was back in 1997, and this season produced about eight storms, three hurricanes, and one hurricane was categorized as a category 3 as far as intensity goes. In recent times, the 2009 hurricane season only reached to the “F’s” (Hurricane Fred) by the last seven days of September.

There is a more effective way to sum up the hurricane season, and this by means of the ACE index (Accumulated Cyclone Energy). The way this is calculated is by adding each tropical storm or hurricane’s wind speed through the cycle of its life. If the hurricane is long lasting and intense, then it will be a high number on the ACE index. If it is short lived and weak, it will have a lower number on the ACE index.

On the other side of spectrum, the eastern Pacific season has been very active, with an ACE index 45 percent above the average-to-date. Even though the Atlantic season was rather quiet, we did have Hurricane Arthur, the first U.S land fall Category 2 hurricane since Hurricane Ike in 2008. It is proven that low activity hurricane seasons can still produce strong hurricanes, and this is quite obvious. The 2014 hurricane season was the first since 1983 that the first three named storms all became hurricanes.

Also, Hurricane Edouard became the first Cat 3 hurricane located in the Atlantic since Sandy. The main reason that most of these systems have been suppressed is due to the wind shear, meaning the height and the direction in which the wind is going. When the wind shear is higher, thunderstorms are moved from the center of a cyclone, which can either weaken it or prevent it from becoming stronger. According to a Lowry graph the wind shear over the main regions from June to August 2014 was the second highest on record for the three month period.

This wind shear was especially strong over the Caribbean Sea, and it’s no surprise that only one of the five tropical storms thus far managed to hold as a tropical cyclone over the Caribbean Sea. Also, the temperature of the atmosphere and moisture has begun suppressing thunderstorms needed to develop and maintain these tropical storm systems. The Atlantic atmosphere has been way more stable and more suppressive of the thunderstorms.

Over the Caribbean Sea, the atmosphere has been more stable, but not as much as it has been near the East Coast of the U.S, where three of the seasons four hurricanes have tracked. On average, the Atlantic Hurricane Season will produce about another five named storms, two hurricanes, and at least one major hurricane through November. But, hurricanes or named storms in October aren’t frequent. If these storms do make landfall, the hot spots are around the western Caribbean, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and near the U.S East Coast.

Because there are upper level winds, disturbances in the western Caribbean have an increased chance of tracking towards the U.S in October. South Florida has been struck by hurricanes in October more than any other month of the season.

Basically, the bottom line is that nobody should let their guard down even though it is later in the season. Make preparations and plan accordingly, because devastating hurricanes can occur late in the season and could put you and your family in danger.

Tips For Finding The Best 2014 Credit Cards For Traveling This Fall

If you are in the market for a new airline or travel rewards card this year, and want to maximize the rewards you will receive, we have a list of some of the top bonus mile credit cards available, all of these cards offer 40,000 to 50,000 or more bonus points for signing up and spending a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time. As always this will work in your favor if you pay off the balance owed on the current statements due date and avoid interest. With these cards a free or nearly airline ticket is certainly possible.

American Express is currently offering, for a limited time a hefty sign up bonus of 50,000 Delta SkyMiles for two co-branded Delta Airlines cards. The cards are the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card. Normally the sign up bonus is only 30,000 SkyMiles for Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card and Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card. needless to say the 15,000 and 20,000 mile bonus respectively is quite a hefty add on bonus. These offers expire September 9th, 2014. The Gold card offers the most bonus points along with a few basic perks such as free checked bags, no annual fee the first year, and you earn 2 miles per $1 on Delta purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. To qualify for the 50,0000 bonus miles you only need to $1,000 in 3 months. You also get a $50 statement credit after your first Delta Airlines ticket purchase. You also get priority boarding as well as 20% in-flight savings.

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card offers a free companion round-trip economy ticket every year upon card renewal, your first bag free on every Delta flight, priority boarding and 20% In-flight savings. To qualify for the 50,000 SkyMiles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles on this card, simply spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. With this card you also earn a $100.00 statement credit when you make your first Delta airlines ticket purchase within 3 months. The only possible drawback here for some is that this card has a Annual Fee of $195.00 even on the first year.

If you like delta airlines, the above two cards both offer nice perks and these sign up rewards are some the biggest travel sign up bonuses I have seen in over a year. You can offset the annual fee with the free companion ticket if you pick the right flight so when viewed that way its almost like voiding out the annual fee.

Next up we have an airway branded credit card, the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. The 50,000 bonus sign up points are good for 2 Roundtrip Flights after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. This card does carry an annual fee of $99.00 and it is applied to your first credit card statement, but the bonus points are worth over $700 in Wanna Get Away fares, which are valid for both Southwest and AirTran. There are no travel blackout dates or seat restrictions or other limiting factors for redeeming your free flights. Every year on your sign up anniversary date you receive 6,000 bonus points. The value of the rewards points on this card makes it worth getting if you happen to enjoy southwest airlines flights.

Our next card up also offers you 50,000 bonus miles, but requires that you spend double what the last two cards require; spending $2,000 within the first 3 months from account opening. The Chase United Explorer card which has just been relaunched, also offers an additional 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and that authorized user makes a purchase within 3 months. The card does have an annual fee of $95.00 but this is waived for the first year. Some of the perks include priority boarding as well as Free first checked bag on United operated flights for you and one companion, as well as 2 United Club passes per year. if you spend a lot of money on credit cards every calendar year you can maximize this card thanks to the 10,000 bonus miles offered if you spend $25,000 in net purchases per year. If United airfare is your preferred flight carrier, use this card to get your free checked bag and rack up the 50,000 bonus miles. Just for signing up and meeting the minimum spending requirements the bonuses and perks come out to roughly $1000.00 in free travel perks making this a worthwhile card to pick up, especially if you like United Airlines.