Growing Popularity of App-based Cash Advances & Their Advantages

Ever been in a situation when some unexpected expense came up and you were out of financial options to cover them? If your answer is yes, you probably know how hard it can be to arrange money urgently. We all have savings, especially to deal with unexpected, but sometimes even our savings fall short during an urgency.

Fortunately for us, the amalgamation of the finance and tech sectors has given rise to an alternative lending industry. This provides us with much better options of borrowing some quick cash during an emergency as compared to traditional ways. One of these lending options is cash advance apps that are steadily proving to be quite resourceful when it comes to instant cash loans. These apps offer you loans much quicker without requiring you to go through rigorous paperwork.

Currently, India is witnessing the rise of its fintech industry in conjunction with the alternate lending industry as one of its key sectors. A large number of India’s population remains underserved by institutional lenders. This provides vast opportunities to new lending startups to succeed through serving financially underserved masses. Online lending platforms such as EarlySalary are one among many brands that provide instant personal loans and salary advance loans in India.

Another reason behind the increasing adoption of app-based cash advances is the growing penetration of smartphones in India. There is a huge gap between people with bank accounts and people with credit cards in the country. However, smartphones provide lenders with ample opportunities to reach out to potential borrowers within this gap. This also makes it easy for people to take a small loan on an urgent basis. The best example is the EarlySalary app – which has more than 5 million users.

Advantages of advance cash apps

At the time of need, people tend to borrow money from relatives and friends, but if this doesn’t work out, they take a loan from a bank or other money lending institutions. However, the tedious amount of paperwork involved in the borrowing process from banks is enough to render conventional lending means ineffective for urgent requirements. This makes app-based cash advances with all their advantages a most suitable option during emergencies. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Instant loan approval

App-based cash advances usually approve your loan application almost instantly. Via EarlySalary, you can get your loan approved within a few minutes if you qualify all requirements of its relatively liberal eligibility criteria. If you urgently need money, this is the best way to get a quick loan. All you need to do is fulfil a few requirements, and you will have the cash credited to your account, by the end of the day.

  1. Convenient process

Another advantage of instant cash advances is the convenience of the entire borrowing process. EarlySalary’s loan process is entirely online – which means you don’t need to visit any bank or outlet to have your loan sanctioned. In fact, you can apply for a loan right from the comfort of your home. This also helps in much quicker processing of loans compared to those of banks.

  1. Ease of access

Getting a loan through conventional means can be a daunting task and one which has visiting banks multiple times. On the contrary, with an instant cash advance app like EarlySalary, you only need to install the app on your smartphone. The app provides access to different kind of loans and credit services and also works as a unified hub for your borrowing and repayment activities. As a result, you save a lot of your valuable time.

  1. Fewer requirements

App-based cash advances have fewer eligibility requirements compared to traditional means of borrowing. During an online loan process, a borrower usually needs to pass eligibility criteria and fulfil some basic requirements to become eligible for loans. Conventional loans typically require you put some asset as collateral. However, EarlySalary provides you access to loans without needing you to put something for security. There are other requirements like credit score and loan purpose that are mandatory to fulfil during a traditional loan but are not a necessity of instant online loans.

  1. Easy Repayments

EarlySalary grants you the ability to repay your loan in a way that suits you better. You can either choose pay as you use mode or go for EMI option. You can also prepay your debt using the EarlySalary mobile app, or you can set your salary account for automated payments. Another benefit is, unlike banks you are not charged any extra money on your EMIs.

  1. Lower fees and rates

Instant cash advances usually charge lower interest rates as opposed to large lending institutions. Borrowers are most likely to find online loans reasonable cheaper than those of banks. If you’re borrowing a small amount for an emergency, Instant cash advances are the most ideal and cost-efficient way to borrow money.

Raising money on an urgent basis is a difficult task. Nonetheless, app-based cash advance platforms have allowed us to borrow money almost instantly. Although online lending platforms took some time to gain people’s attention, they are now becoming popular very rapidly. Due to India’s fintech sector growing faster than ever, alternative lending industry and instant cash advance platforms are expected to witness a much higher growth rate.

Travel On Budget In 10 Easy Steps

Fond of scrolling through Instagram, looking wistfully at beautiful photos of people travelling the world? You’re not alone. If you wish to travel around the globe but don’t have the funds you think you need, the first thing you must understand is that most people travelling the world are not really as rich as you think they are. In fact, they may be just as broke as you. While it’s a common belief that you need a lot of time and money to travel, only the former is true. More than money, you require the will and determination to travel, because budget travel requires careful and diligent planning, and it’s definitely not easy, but it’s entirely possible. With the following tips, you’ll soon be travelling cheap like a pro.

#1 – Do your research

Research is one of the most critical aspects of travelling on a budget. While spontaneous plans are certainly fun, they can be quite expensive, primarily due to their last-minute nature. Flights and hotels booked at the last minute are never cheap, and planning for any trip at least two months in advance is a must. Give yourself time to research the best time to visit the place, the most affordable places to stay in and the cheapest flight to take. Make sure to read reviews and talk to people before starting on your journey, because learning from other people’s experiences is one of the best ways to save money.

#2 – Join a travel rewards program

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If you love travel, you should always try to join a travel rewards program. Most airlines have frequent flyer programs which are usually free to join. The more you travel, the more you tend to earn through these programs, and if you have amassed enough points/miles on a frequent flyer program, you can even travel for free once in a while! Since air tickets are usually the most expensive part of travel, if you get these for free, you end up saving a lot. Of course, it’s not just airlines who have such programs nowadays; hotels have them too, making it that much easier to earn points and eventually reduce your travel expenditure.

#3 – Find cheap accommodation options

It’s a great experience to stay in a five-star hotel like the Taj and be treated like royalty through your stay, but unfortunately, it’s not always an option because of our limited bank balance. Control your urge to avail luxury accommodation, and go for homestays or hostels instead. Dormitories and shared rooms cost much less than single rooms in luxurious hotels, and homestays give you a unique taste of the place’s culture and traditions. A homestay is usually the best option if it’s available, because what better way to get a feel of local culture than staying with the locals?

#4 – Travel slow

One thing you must remember is that slow travel is cheap travel. This is evident from the fact that flight tickets are often more expensive than train tickets, and travelling by an express train tends to cost more than a slower train. Slowing down is often more enjoyable because you get to truly savour the place and learn about its culture. Travelling by road or rail rather than air gives you the time to appreciate the beauty of the journey, making it doubly beneficial (in terms of cost as well as enjoyment).

#5 – Eat and shop where the locals do

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Popular tourist destinations and spots often sell souvenirs and have great restaurants in their locality. But the best way to save money is to avoid these popular shopping places and restaurants completely as things tend to cost more in tourist-friendly places. Instead, try out the street food (it’s always the cheapest) and eat at restaurants the locals frequent. You’re also much more likely to find souvenirs and items unique to the place at affordable costs if you shop at local markets instead of targeting the tourist shops.

#6 – Keep an eye out for discounts

If you’ve started planning your trip well in advance, don’t make the mistake of booking all your tickets too soon. Instead, make sure to subscribe to loyalty programs and look out for any promotions offered. Discounts are not too hard to come by in this age of competition, and you should be ready to grab a discount in air fares or accommodation costs if you wish to travel cheap. The promotional emails most companies send are annoying, but some offers are very useful, so bear with the irritation to cut down on your travel costs.

#7 – Carry your food (or cook yourself!)

Believe it or not, food is a significant expense on any trip. If you cut down on this cost, it will probably bring down your expenses quite a bit. It may seem boring and not fun at all, but the best way to avoid spending on food is to carry your own from home. Another simple way to save on food is to cook for yourself wherever you go, if you have the means to do so. Eating street food and looking for cheap restaurants are, of course, valid options, but carrying your own food or cooking your meals is usually much cheaper than even those options.

#8 – Walk or rent a bicycle

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Travelling inside the city you visit by taxi can be expensive, and adds up over time. Using public transport is a good way to curtail your expenses. If you wish to save more, however, you can always rent a bicycle. Most major cities, especially in Europe, offer this as an option, and the rent is much cheaper than what you would otherwise spend going from place to place. If cycling is not something you enjoy, you can always walk wherever you wish to go. It gives you a new appreciation for the beauties a place has to offer, and to top it off, it’s cheap, too! Walking is a great option especially if you’re not alone. If you are alone, it’s better to hire a cycle because it’s not always safe to walk everywhere alone.

#9 – Buy a local SIM card

This is vital if your travels take you out of your home country. International roaming costs are extremely high, and if you wish to communicate with people back home or even your local guide, it can get very expensive. So if you’re planning to stay at a place for a while before moving on or heading back home, buy a local SIM card to make communication easier and cheaper.

#10 – Travel off-season

There is always a “best time to visit” any place, and at such a time, it usually gets swarmed by tourists. Travel companies tend to take advantage of the great demand during such times and the prices skyrocket. Similarly, school vacations are the prime time for families to head out for a holiday, making it the peak season for travel. It is always wise to avoid travelling during such times. The best time to travel is usually the duration just before or after the “best time to visit”, meaning you won’t completely miss the wonders during the peak time, but you’ll successfully avoid the crowds and expensive tickets. These tips will serve as your handy guide to travelling on a budget, and they’ll help you save a lot of money. However, if you’re still low on cash for any reason, you don’t need to cancel or postpone your plans. You can always take an instant loan (or a travel loan) through online instant loans apps like EarlySalary, who will lend you the money almost instantly for a stress-free travel experience.

Planning an international dream vacation without a cash crunch

Summers are approaching, which means the travel sector is going to see a spike in tourists – both inbound and outbound. For the outbound ones, the planning (and the trip itself) will be time consuming, if you’re going out of your country, you might as well see everything the place has to offer, right? Most people are too busy with their jobs to take time out. But this is not what stops most people from travelling abroad. The thing that stops people is the impression that international travel is expensive and something only the rich have the means to enjoy. This is not true at all.

People who frequently travel abroad are those who have mastered the art of budget travel, willing to take the time and effort to plan a trip at low cost, and trade luxury for the chance to see the world. If you’re low on cash but still dream of travelling abroad, all it takes is a determination to make it work and some extra effort to realise your dreams! Here are a few tips to help you plan your international vacation.

Plan the trip carefully

While waking up one day and making a spontaneous travel plan is fun in its own way, it is nearly impossible for international travel, not to mention expensive even if all the details fall into place.

  • The most important aspects to consider here are the visa and permissions required to visit the place Some nations have stringent visa rules, and planning well in advance is the only way to ensure you can visit the country before you book any tickets.
  • Make a rough itinerary and decide how long you’d have to travel to do justice to the place you’re visiting.
  • Research the place thoroughly and take note of the best time to visit it, the places you must see and other important things before you start booking your tickets and spending money.

Go to inexpensive countries

If you’re low on cash, the best way to budget travel is to go to a place where you’re likely to spend less. Research the cost of living in different countries and the value of their currency against yours.

  • For example, 1 Indian Rupee equals nearly 205 Indonesian Rupiah, which should make your costs that much lower in the country.
  • On the contrary, European countries are expensive and you’ll end up spending a lot if you visit them.

So if your goal is to see the world, you can start by visiting inexpensive countries first, and progress to the more expensive ones when you have more money.

Set a budget

This is one of the most important aspects to remember while planning an international trip with limited cash. If you don’t have a set budget, you’re unlikely to control your spending. However, if you set your limit according to the amount of money you actually have, you have a goal to stick to and if your projected expenses exceed your budget, you can always come up with ways to cut down. If your expenses seem like they’ll exceed your budget by a large margin, then you need to cancel some parts of your trip or look for cheaper alternatives to curtail your spending.

Make your bookings well in advance

Last-minute bookings are always more expensive than tickets booked in advance, no matter what season it is. In fact, if it’s peak season, you may not even get any tickets at the last minute. Don’t book your tickets much in advance, because tickets are not exactly cheap months before the date. The ideal time to make bookings is around 2 months before your travel dates. Keep an eye out for deals and discounts, and subscribe to promotional mailing lists. Though annoying, the deals offered are often attractive and reduce expenditure by a large margin.

Buy travel insurance

It may seem odd that a tip about travelling cheap is asking you to spend extra money, but travel insurance can end up saving you plenty of money in case something goes wrong. A typical travel insurance policy protects you against illness, accidents, theft and cancellation during your travel. It covers your medical costs and reimburses you in case of theft, which is often very important since medical care in most countries is not exactly cheap. Spend money on travel insurance, because if something goes wrong, this is what will save you the most money.

Consider working in exchange for free food and board

There are multiple work travel arrangements available nowadays, with the increase in people wanting to travel. Work abroad programs let you use your skills and offer free food and board in exchange for your time and effort, rather than paying you. WWOOF is an organisation which allows you to help out on a farm in exchange for free accommodation. You can also try teaching jobs, house-sitting or helping out your hosts in some other ways. The advantages of such arrangements are two-fold, you get to save money and get an in-depth experience of the local culture.

Look for cheap accommodation

Compromise on accommodation and trade luxury hotels to hostels and large dormitories. Shared accommodation is always a great deal cheaper than luxury hotels, and you would end up saving a lot of money by simply staying at a hostel. You would also get to meet people from different cultures which would otherwise not be possible. Homestays are another option if you want a cheap place to stay and get to know the locals, too. Camping is another way to save money, and if the place you’re visiting supports that, tents are much cheaper than any room.

Find cheap food (or cook for yourself)

Popular restaurants near tourist spots are often expensive due to the great tourist demand in those areas. Restaurants that locals frequent, on the other hand, are usually much easier on the pockets. The best food to be had is, of course, the food on the street. Street food is the best way to get a taste of the traditional foods of the place you visit, not to mention it’s quite cheap as well. Of course, if you’re really low on cash, you may not even be able to afford this food, and the best way to save money is then to either carry food from home or cook for yourself if you have the means to do so.

Get to know the locals

The best way to experience the culture and traditions of any place is to do it like a local. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask the minor hotel staff to suggest places you should visit. If you’re staying at a homestay, befriend your hosts and ask them to show you around the place. They know the place much better than you and can guide you in ways to spend less much better than anyone else. If you take them shopping with you, they can get you things for cheap as no one else can. There’s also the added advantage of language because you’re likely to face language issues if you’re going abroad.

Find cheap transport

Local transport is not as expensive as accommodation or travelling to and from the place, but it tends to add up over time. Travelling everywhere by cab is never economical. Instead, prefer public transportation since it’s much cheaper. Most places offer daily rail or bus passes to make your local travels more affordable, and this is one of the best ways to save money on local transport. Of course, if you wish to save even more money, the best thing to do is to rent a bicycle (most places are now offering bicycles for rent at very reasonable rates), or simply walk around (walking is, after all, free). Major European cities offer free bus tours and walking tours around the place, which is the best way to get a feel of the place with little to no expenditure.If you’re still struggling to meet your budget even after following all these tips and find yourself low on cash, you can always avail a travel loan at low-interest rates through apps like EarlySalary, who approve your loan requests instantly and require minimal documentation to grant you the loan.

Leaving your money in the bank? You’re losing it!

Money saved is money earned – but this is not equivalent to funds left idle in the bank. Idle cash that does not generate any return may ultimately be costing you money after accounting for inflation when you’re calculating the real-adjusted returns.

In earlier times, money left in the bank generated at least a somewhat meaningful real rate of returns and was also a convenient and safe option. However, the notorious combo of high inflation rates and rising fees either depreciate the money value or earns a paltry return. This is because the banks pay interest less than inflation, which is essentially the rate at which money loses value.

Take the standard prevailing interest rates banks offer on our savings deposits today – about 4%. The inflation rate in India for 2018 was about 4.74%. If you parked Rs 1 lakh in your savings account at this time, you’d receive Rs 4,000 as interest, but lose Rs 4740 as your money lost its purchasing power. The net result? You’d lose an overall sum of Rs 740!

We put a lot at stake with every decision pertaining to money. The bigger problem is with the dynamic nature of the money markets that increases risk and uncertainty. Markets move up and down in a cycle. You need to choose the right time, suitable investment product and strategy to avoid losing money. The fuzziness around inflation, volatility, market returns and risk leaves no surefire way to multiply money. However, with some due diligence and goal setting, you can park your hard-earned money in a way better than the strategy, if you can call it that, of leaving idle cash in the bank.

There are two other ways of multiplying your money’s value:

  • One is through short-term money instruments like trading derivatives, short-term bonds, etc. Fixed deposits are a safe option too.
  • The other option is long-term instruments. You can also buy index-based funds, mutual funds or invest in SIPs and ETFs to spread risk and peg your money returns to the market. Your money allocations should be across sectors such that they focus on quality stocks. You may even pick and choose from a multitude of mutual funds across industries with different maturities and investment types. Some of them also give regular dividends.

Liquid funds provide stable funds and can also be converted to cash quickly. What’s even better is the tax benefits and a lower expense ratio that many such instruments offer to their buyers. You can also beat inflation with debt funds if you have a moderate risk appetite. The return on ELSS and multi-cap funds over a 3 and 5-year period have crossed 16 per cent.

Equity stocks and bonds come with high liquidity as they can be bought and sold quickly in the secondary market. A balanced portfolio can help you whether good or bad times and beat inflation. They are riskier than traditional instruments like fixed deposits, PPF, etc. However, the opportunity cost of idle money is higher than the risk premium paid in most cases. If you are risk averse, then you can invest in FDs which give up to 9% return and leverage the magic of compound interest.

You can’t bury your head in the sand for finance decisions. Saving a decent amount for a rainy day is critical, but we can’t let inflation eat away the purchasing power of a significant chunk of our money. Just as little drops of water make the mighty ocean, a small amount of money appreciation can make you significantly wealthier in the long run. Allocate money judiciously in different instruments and make the most out your earnings. And if you’re ever short on savings, there’s always EarlySalary’s instant salary advance to assist you.

What EarlySalary Does that Your Bank Just Won’t Do

Obtaining a bank loan is a long and tedious process, involving a lot of documentation, numerous trips to the branch and a lot of effort. It also involves stringent credit checks, guarantors or collateral and a chance that the loan will not get approved. Banks also usually require a solid reason for providing the loan, like tuition fees for higher education, buying a home, etc. and demand documents as proof. When it comes to online instant loans, however, most of these problems are not valid. EarlySalary is one such instant loan app which provides you with unsecured personal loans instantly. Here are some of the benefits of EarlySalary, which your bank will definitely not provide you with.

1. Apply for a loan at your convenience

EarlySalary’s entire process is online, which means you can apply for any loan from the comfort of your home. It requires lesser documentation than banks, and all of them can be uploaded to the app, saving the time and effort involved in trips to the bank. It doesn’t even require a salary slip to approve a loan, giving loans to even newly salaried employees. It provides unsecured loans, which means no collateral or guarantor is required. Even people with a modest credit history can avail a loan through EarlySalary, although a good credit score is always a bonus.

2. Instant approval

Instant loans, as the name suggests, are loans sanctioned and credited instantly. As long as you have the necessary documents in hand, the approval process takes less than a day, and the money is transferred to you in a matter of minutes. This is very useful during a cash crunch, as you will not have the time to get a loan approved by the bank. The verification and approval process for the first loan obtained through EarlySalary takes about a day, but after that, subsequent loan applications are processed within minutes, resulting in the loan amount being transferred to your bank account on the same day.

3. Short term loans

Bank loans are usually given over a long period, which is often more than a year. EarlySalary offers loans for a period as low as five days. Banks do not give short term loans, and you can’t go to your bank asking for a loan for minor reasons like a monthly cash crunch. EarlySalary’s short term loans, however, is the perfect solution for a cash crunch, or even if your salary is delayed.  

4. Flexible repayments

We often wish to get rid of our debt in advance, but banks don’t allow this. They penalise you with fines and prepayment charges if you repay the loan in advance. Additionally, banks are in complete control of the loan tenure and repayment terms. With EarlySalary, you have control over the terms of repayment. You can decide the tenure and repayment schedule without facing any penalties or fines. You can also prepay your entire loan amount without any additional charges.

5. Unlimited loans in a year

This is perhaps the best part about EarlySalary. If you possess a good credit score and repay the loans on time, you can obtain as many loans as you wish through the app. Banks usually approve not more than a single loan per year, but EarlySalary only needs a good credit history to sanction another loan in the same year. The gap between the loans is also very less – only 5 days. EarlySalary can help you with a wide range of problems, from a month-end cash crunch to the payment of school fees in EMIs. The reason for the loan doesn’t matter if you’re looking for direct cash to your bank, and the solution is different for EMI payments of school fees or transfers to e-commerce wallets like Amazon. You can even use EarlySalary credit to shop in various online portals. With instant approval, low-interest rates and the feature of approving unlimited loans in a year, EarlySalary certainly does a lot that your bank won’t do to make your life easy in case of financial difficulty.

Instant loan apps and services: A Comprehensive Comparison

Procure a loan isn’t a walk in the park – traditional banks and financial institutions tend to take long periods of time to process loan applications. Apart from banks, informal money lenders are known for high rates of interest, making the entire process strenuous. Not surprisingly then, loan apps have emerged in this financial set up as an excellent method to provide safe and hassle-free loans online.

A unique feature of these loan apps is their rapid application process. There is no necessity to physically submit documents or wait in long queues for approval. There entire process can be done on the loan app within 20-30 minutes, considering their eligibility criteria.  While almost everyone is eligible to apply for loans, the criteria differs from app to app based on various factors like annual income, availability of documents, and the amount of loan amongst the many others.

These applications can easily be downloaded on Google Play Store or Apple App store, and loans can be applied for after a quick application process. Mentioned below are some of the most popular and commonly used loan applications:

  1. PaySense

Started in 2015, PaySense, a Mumbai based fintech startup, offers a paperless process to borrowers availing loans. Allowing loans of up to INR 2 Lakh, PaySense disburses it into the borrower’s bank accounts. There is also an option to pay back loans through flexible EMIs, providing an overall personalized experience. However, loan disbursal through PaySense takes at least up to 5-7 hours after approval.

  1. CASHe

CASHe is a 2016 Mumbai based startup founded with a proprietary algorithm (the Social Loan Quotient). It creates credit profiles for salaried persons using their social media platforms in order to facilitate immediate disbursal of credit. This application provides loan offers varying from INR 10 Thousand to INR 2 Lakh between 15 to 180 days, based on the preferences of the borrower. While CASHe credits approved loans in a matter of minutes, the loan approval process itself can be time consuming according to anecdotal evidence.

  1. MoneyTap

Founded in 2015, MoneyTap, a Bangalore based platform provides instant loans ranging from INR 3 Thousand to INR 5 Lakh. MoneyTap works without the need for collaterals or guarantors, while the application also allows loans to be paid using EMIs (between the ranges of 2 to 36 months). However, MoneyTap demands various eligibility criteria – including a minimum age of 23 years along with a minimum salary of INR 20 Thousand.

  1. Flex Salary

Started in 2016, Flex Salary is a Hyderabad-based digital lending app providing instant loan approvals and disbursals up to INR 2 Lakh. With a one click application process, borrowers can avail their credits after its approval.

  1. EarlySalary

Founded in 2015, EarlySalary is a Pune based fintech online platform. It allows borrowers to seek instant cash loans directly into their bank accounts in a matter of minutes. The borrowers are able to avail loans starting from INR 1 Thousand up to INR 2 Lakh. It also allows EMI payments ranging from 7 to 50 days.

As opposed to other instant loan apps in India, EarlySalary is trustworthy with a framework of a clear set of legal rules and regulations for both borrowers. Furthermore, it marks well against every existing industry standard, including the Fair Practice Code for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs). EarlySalary is especially advantageous to young salaried persons seeking instant loans. This is because it does not demand any credit histories or a minimum salary, unlike most instant loan apps in India. This proves helpful not only to regular borrowers, but also to first-time loan takers. It also offers a bunch of other specialised services – such as its School FeES program that allows you to pay for your child’s education directly via EMIs. The EarlySalary blog is a repository of useful information for those looking for financial advice and wealth management tips. With a salary advance of INR 2 lakhs available for as low as INR 9 a day, it really makes for a compelling option if you’re on the lookout for a solution to your cash crunch. Sign up here to begin!

While instant loan approvals make borrowing easy, it is vital for a borrower to truly understand and do enough research on service providers before they sign up for instant online loans based on their personal preferences and choices.

What are some non traditional ways to invest and grow your money?

If you are looking at growing your money, the world of investments has no limits. While there are conventional methods of investment like fixed deposits, PFs, bonds and more, there are multiple alternative methods you may want to explore too.

Non-traditional methods can surprise you and provide outsized results. Here are a few different types of non-traditional investment methods that you should know about:

1. Digital Gold Currency

Digital Gold Currencies or DGCs, are a form of virtual or electronic currency based on gold mass units. These are representative currencies that are available for exchange for gold on demand. Linked to grams as their measurable units, DGCs are now issued by various companies.

Backed by gold reserves by private agencies, DGCs are best suited to survive during economic turmoil, considering that they are not tied to any monetary policies or economic systems of a country.  

2. Equities

While equities can seem like a popular investment option, the truth is that only 2% of the country invests in the stock market. That’s a staggering amount of people left out of one of the most visible indicators of our economy. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of how this asset class works, and the related apprehensions that brings with itself. But in the process, you’re missing out on opportunities for solid returns on your investments – the Sensex delivered a 17% return in 2017 and 11% in 2018.

You may want to test the waters by beginning with mutual funds – generally a less volatile, and easier to manage investment than stocks and shares directly. Get yourself a demat account to begin.

3. Inflation-indexed bonds

Inflation-indexed bonds are a measure of protection taken by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) that acts as a hedge against inflation. This investment choice is particularly to safeguard your bond holdings. While a regular security bond of the government is subjected to the risks of inflation, inflation-indexed bonds are free from it. Sold in the secondary markets, there are no set fees for this service and these bonds score higher with respect to capital protection.

4. Collectibles

Collectibles are an interesting investment choices for tangible investments. They tend to usually include vintage antiques, precious metals, numismatic and rare coins, watches or anything whose value is likely to rise in time. The key to investments in collectibles is the question of rarity – the price demanded is higher for anything exceptionally rare. However, it is extremely important to have a thorough investigation before investing. It is also vital to ensure that you are investing money that you can afford to lose, considering the volatility of prices in the market. That said, collectibles are ideal investments for failed conventional investments.

5. Real Estate

Real estate is one of the best tangible assets for money investment and growth. This is because unlike others, its price has historically consistently performed well over the long term. The three basic ways of investing in real estate are:

  1. Buying your own house – This is the simplest investment in real estate considering the fact that you would have to live there too. This is beneficial in increasing your ownership equity through mortgages and appreciation of the property.
  2. Investment in rental properties – Investments in rental properties add an extra flow to your already existing income. However, it is important to understand that rental real estate is a hand on activity, meaning this requires a larger investment in terms of down payments and market prices. Nevertheless, it is the perfect way to grow your money on a long term basis.  
  3. Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs – REITs are like mutual funds in the real estate market. These are trusts that are sold on known exchanges, from which you can either invest in the property or its mortgages. A new asset class that’s only just launching in India, an REIT is generally categorized into multi-unit apartments, commercial flats and retail buildings. An advantage of REITs is that they have huge tax benefits and provide higher yields too.

Investment is a slow and steady process; it is important to remember not to dip your feet into every pond. And while you’re at it – remember that it’s only prudent financial management that will enable you to invest well in the first place. If you’re short on funds, you may want to look at instant loans from EarlySalary to meet your urgent needs and maintain financial wellness.

If you’re beginning to enter the world of investment, starting with one or two traditional investments and then working your way up to the non-traditional ones is an ideal way to play this field.  

How Instant Loans Can Boost your Credit Score

Everyone has a credit score associated with them. They might or might not know about it, but this score is a critical factor in their financial history and credibility. The better your score, the more likely it is that banks will give you loans or credit cards in terms favorable for you. A good credit score helps you get loans at lower interest rates and save money in the long run. Improving your credit score is not a quick or simple process, but it’s not impossible either.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit score that helps financial organisations determine how likely you are to repay a debt. It is based on your credit history – a record of your demonstrated ability and willingness to repay debts. Your credit history would also include information regarding your bankruptcies or collections, all contained in a credit report. Credit scores usually range from 300 to 850. With a credit score of 700 and above, lenders are likely to approve your loans easily, but if you have a score below 650, banks may not even consider your request.

How is a credit score calculated?

There are three main credit bureaus in charge of creating your credit reports, and a statistical algorithm is applied to any one of these reports to calculate the score. The algorithms used by different lenders are not the same, although there are some commonly used ones like the FICO model. Hence, you would probably have dozens of credit scores.

However, the factors that decide whether your score is high or low are similar for all the models. So, if your credit score is low according to one model, it is unlikely to be high according to any other model. The factors considered are usually your loan and credit card repayment history, your usual revolving credit, the types of accounts you have, how often you apply for new credit, etc.

How can an instant loan improve credit score?

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The concept of a loan resulting in an improved credit score seems paradoxical since the very definition of a loan is that it puts you in debt. However, a credit score is not a measure of an absence of debt – it’s a measure of your ability to repay debt. It’s a popular belief that a responsible and consistent use of credit cards can improve your credit score. However, credit card interest rates are high and difficult to keep up with for many people. Instant loans, on the other hand, have affordable interest rates. These are unsecured loans ranging between ₹ 5000 to ₹ 2,00,000, which don’t require security or collateral, and are approved online. Instant cash loan apps like EarlySalary require minimal documentation and rely on parameters beyond your credit score than banks. With the lower interest rates, it is easier to use such loans responsibly and pay off the related debts regularly. Instant cash loans can also be used to consolidate your debts, i.e., with their lower interest rates, they can be useful in settling the high interest rates of your credit cards. Timely and responsible repayment of instant loans can therefore improve your credit score, and also help you pay off the debt on your credit cards on time.

Although it sounds counterproductive, instant instant money loan apps can help improve your credit score in a significant way, both directly through their regular repayment and indirectly by consolidating your other high-interest debts.

Travel Loans – All You Need to Know

Economic growth, rising incomes, and a generational shift in financial habits and attitudes have resulted in a boom in the travel and tourism industry. Numerous people, young and old, are showing an increasing interest in travelling their country and even the world. A number of factors are at play – media influence, access to budgeted accommodation or an increased fascination for different cultures. However, travelling anywhere can prove to be quite expensive, as the expenses incurred are, of course, not only limited to the journey. It also includes accommodation, food, transport in the place you’re visiting and other expenses like fees in tourist attractions. These daunting costs often dissuade people who wish to travel, but there is no need to give up your dreams of experiencing the beauty and learning about the culture of another place just because your bank balance is too low at the moment. You can always take a travel loan if you find yourself low on cash but wish to explore the world.

What are travel loans?

A travel loan is a personal loan, usually unsecured, designed exclusively for travel. You can deploy it to travel within your country or abroad, for personal or business purposes. These loans cover not only the ticket expenses but everything from your journey to the little things you buy at your destination. Air or train tickets, local transport, accommodation, food, sightseeing expenses and even souvenirs can be purchased using a travel loan, as there are no particular restrictions on its use, except that it needs to be used when you travel.

Interest rates

There are now many options available to choose from when it comes to personal loans for travel, making a comparison of interest rates possible. It is always advisable to do your research before choosing a particular lender to take a loan from. Other aspects to keep in mind include the processing fee, prepayment charges and offers provided. The interest rates, as well as all these finer points of various loan providers, should be compared before taking the loan.

Why are travel loans surging in popularity?

Many people, both young as well as old, are turning towards travel loans to indulge in their wish to see the world (or even just their country). This is partly because of the easy availability of these loans and the general rise in awareness about them, and partly due to the various benefits they offer.

  1. Minimum documentation

Since a travel loan is unsecured, there aren’t too documents required. Proofs of your identity, employment and address are typically adequate to sanction a personal loan for travel. You can even apply for instant cash loans online through services like EarlySalary, making it easy to avail a travel loan from the comfort of your home by uploading your documents online.

  1. High loan amounts

While EarlySalary allows you to take out an instant loan for up to Rs 2 lakhs, you can borrow higher amounts if you enjoy good credibility and history as a borrower, at nominal interest rates. This will help cover your all your travel-related expenses, and you have complete control on the money, meaning you can decide exactly where you wish to spend it.

  1. Instant approval

Online lenders like EarlySalary approve travel loans instantly, and the amount is transferred to your account as a lump sum within 24 hours of the submission of your application. This is a significant advantage with such portals since many travel plans made at the last minute are at risk of falling through because of a lack of funds.

  1. Flexible repayment options

Online repayment of travel loans is possible through apps, which makes it a fairly hassle-free process. You can also often set up automatic repayments, meaning you don’t need to remember to make the payment every time. The tenure of the loan can be chosen according to your financial ability and comfort, with online EMI calculators helping you decide on a suitable loan duration.

  1. No collateral

An unsecured loan implies that you will not be asked for a guarantor or collateral against the loan you take. This ensures that there is no fear or undue stress of your belongings getting repossessed if the amount is not repaid, but the transparency of the process ensures timely payment of the EMI.

Although there are many advantages to travel loans, there is a need to be cautious while applying for one. There are several aspects you’ll need to consider. If your income is on the lower side, you’re better off going somewhere less expensive or reconsidering your budget. You also need to ensure that the loan amount you’re taking is adequate for your travel expenses, but not much more than necessary. Making a comprehensive budget of your trip is a must, along with a look at your available funds so that a loan of the appropriate amount can be taken. All in all, don’t let a lack of funds dampen your dreams of travel, but good planning is ideal before you get yourself a travel loan.

Travelling on a Budget – 5 Tips

Dreams of visiting exotic destinations are not uncommon, but travelling anywhere requires money, which we usually may not have in abundance. It is not easy to tick things off your bucket list when your bank balance is low, but it’s not impossible, either. We often end up spending tons of money unnecessarily by making unwise spending decisions and indulging where there is no need, often ending up needing large travel loans. Budget travel is daunting and takes effort, but it’s possible. Here are five tips to help you out.

#1 – Make a proper travel plan

Spontaneous travel plans are fun and exciting, but can leave a gaping hole in your pocket even if you don’t travel in luxury or live at the best places. If you have a tight budget, you need a plan ready well in advance. An hour-by-hour itinerary is not essential, but you should make sure to map out your destinations, the time you’ll spend in each place and the path you’ll take during your travels. It’s always advisable to make bookings for both your travel tickets and your accommodation well before time – last-minute bookings prove to be very expensive.

#2 – Book the cheapest possible tickets

There are several hacks you can keep in mind to ensure you get the best deals in airfares:

  • First, and most importantly, book your tickets well in advance, but not too early. There is a misconception that the earlier you book, the cheaper your tickets are, but this is not true. Booking flight tickets about two months in advance is enough. When your date is less than one month away, the ticket prices start skyrocketing. Also make sure to keep an eye out for sales and deals and subscribe to websites which offer such deals, so you’re ahead of the curve.

  • Another useful hack is to book your tickets using a private or incognito browsing window, and to clear your browser cookies regularly. Travel portals have a way of tracking the prices you’ve recently seen and might sell you tickets at higher prices if you’re not careful. Travel at inconvenient times of the day, because tickets are cheapest at the times when people don’t prefer to travel. Also make sure to avoid travelling on weekends, because tickets are always in demand then.

#3 – Be flexible with your accommodation

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You may wish to stay in luxury in the suite of a five-star hotel, but that’s not how travelling on a budget works. You stand to save significant sums of money if you choose to stay at a hostel or dorm instead. Alternatively, most tourist destinations also offer a homestay option, and services like Airbnb also assist you in locating inexpensive accommodation. Staying in a dorm or hostel will invariably expose you to local culture and make your experience richer – as it allows you to meet new people and create new memories with them. Homestays give you a taste of local life you’re otherwise unlikely to experience staying at a hotel, and your host could give you tips and guide you regarding the places to explore better than anyone else. You could also stay with family or friends if there are any at the place you’re visiting. It may give you an opportunity to connect with people you’ve lost touch with, enriching your travel experience even more.

#4 – Prefer off-season travel

Research the peak season for the places you’re going to, and time your travel just before or after the season. Peak season usually attracts many tourists, and the travel industry tends to hike up the prices when the demand is high. School vacations are peak travel times for families, and the prices are always high during this time. Prefer a time when you can enjoy your destination’s wonders without the crowd or expensive tickets. The best time to visit your destination is usually when flight tickets and accommodation are costly, but just before and after this time, businesses lower the prices to attract more tourists. It requires careful planning and research, but it saves a lot of money if you can pull it off.

#5 – Eat and shop where the locals do

There are restaurants famous for tourists, and souvenir shops at sightseeing spots, and then there are places locals visit. People take advantage of the fact that tourists are usually unaware of their country’s culture and the local economy, and prices are typically high at souvenir shops and popular restaurants. But locals should know where to get the best things for cheap, and food is one of them. To truly understand a place’s culture, you must eat at local restaurants, trying out the local cuisine. There is also, of course, the added advantage that food at such local restaurants is cheap. When you visit any place, you’re expected to take souvenirs back home for your relatives and friends, but vendors at tourist spots tend to take advantage of you. Instead, go to a local market, preferably with a local, and buy whatever you wish from there. Many cultures also have a tradition of bargaining, so vendors quote a higher price which you can easily bring down by haggling. So don’t be shy and haggle all you can for the best deals!With these tips, you can definitely travel at much lower amounts than you would otherwise have to spend! However, if you still find yourself low on cash, you can always apply for a travel loan (an unsecured personal loan especially for travel) through advance salary apps like EarlySalary, that lend you the money you need instantly for an easy and hassle-free experience.