How to repay an Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Wondering how and when to pay back an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)? You’re not alone.
Administered by the federal government’s Small Business Administration, EIDLs were part of a relief package Congress passed to help small businesses and the self-employed experiencing temporary losses in revenue due to COVID-19. The EIDL is different from the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.
The loan is a 30-year loan at a 3.75 percent interest rate (2.75 percent for nonprofits), with payments deferred for a year (though interest still accrues). Many businesses also received an EIDL grant of up to $10,000, which was forgivable.
Although the SBA hasn’t sent statements or payment stubs yet, you can still start paying the loan off, and there’s no prepayment penalty if you decide to pay in full.
You can find your balance and current payoff status by registering with the SBA’s Capital Access Financial System (CAFS) at https://caweb.sba.gov/cls. You’ll need your SBA loan number, found in your closing documents.
Start by clicking “Not enrolled” under the SBA Account Login heading in the left-hand column on the home page and then choose “Borrower” for user type. Most of the form is self-explanatory, though here’s one hint: When entering your phone number, the country code for the United States is “1.”
After successfully registering, log back in and find your loan by clicking “Borrower Search” on the blue bar at the top of the page. The loan information page will show your loan number and status, the principal balance, and the payoff balance, among other info. It also shows you when your next installment is due and for how much, and how much interest the loan has accrued.
This page also includes a link to pay.gov, where you’ll make payments. This is a much simpler form than at CAFS–you’ll need your SBA loan number again, along with bank account information.

Review homeowner’s insurance for coverage

Your home–one of your biggest lifetime investments–must be protected from the dangers of nature and the world.
What if a volcano erupts, a satellite drops, the wind blows, lightning strikes, or fire burns? For those threats, you need insurance, and you need the right amount.
The biggest catastrophe would be not having enough coverage.
Consider these three types of coverage:

  1. Standard dwelling coverage.
    This is based on the cost to rebuild your house, based on construction and material costs in your area. Your homeowner’s insurance company can give you an estimate and might even update your coverage for you to reflect changing costs of labor and materials. Note that standard coverage does not cover everything. It almost certainly does not cover floods or earthquakes. Or nuclear war.
  2. Extended replacement cost.
    Not offered by every company, extended coverage can absorb price increases. If a tornado tears through your town, labor and materials could be scarce and costs could rise. With standard dwelling coverage, you are insured to the limits of your policy but no more. With extended coverage, even if costs rise, your investment will be protected.
  3. Guaranteed replacement cost.
    This is the best coverage because it pays to rebuild your house no matter how much costs have gone up. You might need this in a high-value, historical home, for example. You might need it if your home has special features that would be difficult and expensive to replace.

The office after COVID-19 will look and feel different

Our experiences inside grocery and retail stores and restaurants have changed dramatically over the past few months, with many changes likely permanent–plexiglass dividers at checkout and contactless purchases, for example.
But what about the office? What will it look like after the quarantines ease and more workers return to the office after months of remote work?
Touchless technology and air purification systems will likely be the norm, along with separate entrances and exits. A number of design and architectural websites suggest that buttons and handles will be replaced by innovations like foot-activated call buttons for elevators and methods of entering and exiting office restrooms that don’t include handles.
Desks will be spaced farther apart and may feature sneeze guards, and offices may install more motion sensors to turn on lights and faucets. Going even further, companies might rotate staff schedules.
According to Forbes, a hub-and-spoke office model may become more common–a company’s headquarters serves as the “hub,” while the “spokes” are used for smaller teams and are in a variety of geographic locations. The hub is no longer the base where everyone shows up each day.
Other ideas include the elimination of a single office refrigerator in favor of smaller fridges by department, and grab-and-go meals in cafeterias for the foreseeable future instead of self-service hot bars. Self-cleaning surfaces are likely to become the norm as well.

Use it or lose it: Spending down those leftover FSA dollars

In the 1985 film Brewster’s Millions, a minor league baseball pitcher stands to inherit a huge sum of money if he can spend $30M in 30 days but finds that offloading the cash is harder than he thought.
The millions of Americans looking to spend down their tax-free flex spending accounts (FSAs) might have an easier time than Monty Brewster, but there are still limitations. And when workers do not use the cash, they lose it. According to CNBC, workers may lose as much as $400M each year from unused flex dollars. Some companies may permit an extension until March 15 of the following year or allow up to $500 of rollover.
If you have funds leftover in your health care FSA, consider whether you need a flu shot, prescription sunglasses, sunscreen (SPF30 or higher), dental care or other items. You can also buy these items for a dependent, according to Further, an FSA account administrator.
One online vendor, the FSA Store, simplifies shopping for you–all items are FSA-eligible expenses. For vendors that don’t accept FSA debit cards, check with your plan about how to submit expenses for reimbursement.
Flex spending accounts have expanded over the years to allow workers to set aside up to $5,000, tax-free, to pay for dependent care expenses, such as daycare or summer camp. With pandemic-related daycare and summer camp closures in 2020, parents will be hard-pressed to spend those funds before the end of the year, and the money may be lost, according to Arizona Family.

Why do landlords require renters insurance?

If you are in the Cypress, TX area and are looking for a new place to live, renting a home can be a good option. While there are benefits that come with owning a property, those that rent typically will have fewer maintenance needs and have more flexibility. If you are going to rent a property here, you do need to also consider your insurance needs. Most of the time, your landlord will require that you have renters insurance. There are several reasons that they require this. 

Renters Insurance Ensures You Can Pay for Damages

If you ever make a mistake that results in property damage or an injury to another party, you will be responsible for the damages. In some cases, the cost to pay for repairs or medical bills can be significant. Due to this, your landlord will want to ensure you have the financial capacity to cover the costs. By ensuring that you carry renters insurance at all times, your landlord will know you have the financial resources needed to pay for damages. 

Renters Insurance Covers Your Assets

If there is ever a fire or bad storm that causes a lot of damage, it is possible that your personal items could be lost. When you have renters insurance, you will have coverage to repair or replace your items. Landlords will want you to have it as it will ensure you have support to replace your items and will not try to make a claim on their property insurance.

Anyone moving into a new home in the Cypress, TX area should consider their insurance needs. If you are going to get renters insurance, you should call InsureUS. The insurance team at InsureUS can help you better evaluate your renter’s insurance needs and pick a quality policy. 

Can I sell my products and services on Facebook Marketplace?

Four years after its quiet beginnings, Facebook Marketplace has become a major player for people buying and selling products. But is it a viable place to earn a serious income, and what about offering services?
Like Craigslist, it’s free to sell on Marketplace–a draw for anyone accustomed to paying fees to sites like eBay and Amazon. However, those two platforms have far larger audiences and are typically the go-to sites for sellers looking to do higher volume. In addition to the difference in audience reach, you can’t list more than 150 items per day on Facebook Marketplace.
Etsy, Mercari, Rakuten, Shopify and Bonanza are also popular platforms with established audiences. And while Marketplace trends toward local sales, users can offer shipping options. Sellers can use Facebook ads to boost their listings.
Marketplace listings are not just about garage sale used products. People sell pre-made outdoor sheds, for example.
What about using Marketplace to offer your services? For now, it’s a no-go.
Facebook’s Commerce Policies says services may not be listed, and its list of 14 examples includes things like photography, electrical, plumbing, cleaning, financial services and lawn care services, among others.
However, you can still create a Facebook page for your business and list your services there, as well as direct potential customers and clients to your website. With a Facebook page, you can communicate with customers right on the page or via Messenger.
A Facebook page adds a credibility factor for services such as light construction or home repair and remodeling. Businesses can also display photos of their work.