Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government have set up a new program to support families in debt. This program also limits recourse to loan sharks who charge abnormally high rates to debtors.
With average monthly salaries ranging between 10,000 and 15,000 baht, it is often difficult for some Thai families to finish the month or meet an exceptional expense without resorting to a loan.
One of the peculiarities of Thailand, often perceived as an archaism of its financial and banking system, lies in the persistence of usurers (loan sharks) who thrive on the backs of the most disadvantaged borrowers. The latter lends a certain sum of money with exorbitant interest rates. Generally, 10 to 20% of the sum borrowed is paid monthly. Loan sharks typically have no connection with banks or any official body.
Despite several successive campaigns to help people in debt, Thailand cannot eliminate the “loan sharks.”
The easiest prey is people in debt who need money fast. Rather than turning to a bank that will verify that the customer’s banking history is in order, these people will turn to a loan shark. This one will be more inclined to lend the desired sum of money without asking for anything. Then comes the repayment time, which becomes challenging to honor with very high-interest rates. In the event of non-payment, the loan sharks do not hesitate to use intimidation and force to win their case.
In an interview with the Bangkok Post, one of them tested
When the debtor neglects payment, I begin by doubling the interest. If they still don’t pay, I’ll send my staff to watch them outside their homes, government officials with whom I work part-time. We take photographs of the debtor to scare them into starting to pay.
If that doesn’t work, a note is written saying, “You owe me money, and you don’t want to pay it back. » Displayed at the person’s workplace to embarrass them.
If nothing works, I will send one of my agents to their home to confiscate a cell phone, a laptop, or a motorcycle or ask their parents for money.
In some cases, the sums borrowed are 2000 or 3000 baht, and small sums doubled or tripled because of the interest. A report from 2007 shows that 32% of Thais use the services of a loan shark, up from 26% in 2006. Another report states that more than 21% of households in Bangkok with a lower monthly salary at 15,000 baht owed money to loan sharks.
Many indebted households come from the countryside, especially in the northeast regions of Thailand, where wages are the lowest. These people are perfect prey for loan sharks, who do not hesitate to sixteen property or the house of a family if the latter cannot repay them. In some cases, loan sharks take interest directly from the bank’s salary, leaving only a few hundred baht for the indebted person to finish the month.
Shark loans in the government’s nets
To counter the harmful influence of loan sharks, the government has decided to set up a program to help people in debt repay their debts.
Divided into three stages, this program will allow the persons concerned to borrow money from the banks participating in the operation with minimal interest rates. The condition required to be eligible for this program is to have debt amounting to no more than 200,000 baht.
Seven banks are part of this program: Government Savings Bank, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Government Housing Bank, SME Bank, Islamic Bank, Krung Thai Bank, and Small Industry Credit Cooperation.
Then, the repayment of the amount borrowed from the banks will be made monthly with an interest rate of 1%, a petite figure compared to the 20 or even 50% demanded by the loan sharks. Most repayments will be made over an eight-year term.
Finally, people enrolled in this program will be given a card that will allow them to continue to borrow from banks with the same interest rate but for sums not exceeding more than 50% of the amount initially borrowed. The card will allow them to borrow like this four times.
The government has released 20 billion baht (about 500 million euros) to help the banks participating in this operation.
In December 2009, Abhisit Vejjajiva launched a similar program. Nearly 1.2 million people had been admitted for a cumulative debt of 122 billion baht. According to the Prime Minister, 600,000 participants were able to repay their debts.
Regularly, the governments in place, like those of Abhisit Vejjajiva or Thaksin Shinawatra, launch operations to counter loan sharks’ activities and help people in debt. However, the number of people using the services of loan sharks continues to increase.
Members of the opposition are already contesting the program launched by the government, judging the initiative as more conducive to garnering votes for the next elections than to solving the problem definitively. Samphan Tech-think, a political scientist at Khon Kaen University, says the program is inaccessible for people unable to repay monthly. “I think the problem is not addressed at its root,” he says.
Wilaiwan Sae-tia, the Thai Labor Solidarity Committee leader, explains that “the loan shark problem is a vicious circle. How can the government ensure that people participating in the program will not return to see the loan sharks? »
Indeed, even if the government is trying to curb this problem financially, it has not yet announced any legal measures intended to combat the presence of loan sharks, which is well anchored in the economic landscape of Thailand.
Recommended Personal Budget Ratio￼￼
A personal budget is key to keeping track of your money. It’s important to keep track of not only what’s coming in, but also what’s being spent and where it’s being spent. Knowing the percentage of your income allocated to spending, investing, and saving is important for turning your budget into a planning tool instead of a static report. Ratio guidelines may vary depending on what you want your budget to focus on – for example, getting out of debt or delivering maximum savings – but the ratios here provide a starting point towards your specific goals.
Determine Your Income
The income calculation is a starting point, as all ratios are driven from this total. Be sure to include all sources of income received in the household. This can include salaries, commissions, bonuses, investment income, rental income, consulting income, and other sources of income that contribute to your budget. Items that vary monthly, such as commissions and bonuses, may be averaged over time; that average should be used in calculating your total income.
Each expense or savings category will then be divided by your total income to come up with your ratio. Ratio guidelines vary slightly depending on your source, but those listed throughout this article have been compiled from sources such as CNN Money, Dave Ramsey, and Forbes.com, and are intended to be a good starting point.
Start With Housing Costs
Housing costs include items such as a mortgage or rent, home or tenant insurance, property taxes, and additional amounts for smaller home repairs and improvements. The utilities in this section include bills for electricity, gas, water, telephone, and garbage collection. Your rent or mortgage payments should be no more than 20 to 25 percent of your income. When adding up other expenses in this category, your ratio to the total should be 30 to 40 percent of your income.
Combined Transportation Costs
Costs in the transportation category include payments for vehicles, gas, insurance, taxes, and additional amounts for repairs and maintenance. If you live in a big city and use public transportation, or have to pay tolls or park at your workplace, these fees should be included as well. This category is no more than 15 to 25 percent of your income.
General Cost of Living Pictures
The cost of living includes many things. It’s also one of those categories that can expose problem areas in your budget, while also highlighting areas for improvement where additional savings can be found. Examples of items that fall into this category are medical and dental expenses (if not deducted from your paycheck), child care, camp or after-school care for children, groceries, entertainment, dining out, clothing and vacations. Also includes small items like dry cleaning, magazine subscriptions, and club memberships. This category should account for 20 to 25 percent of your income.
Add Debit Payment
This category includes additional items that require you to make payments each month. Examples include credit card payments, store credit cards, student loan payments, and home equity line payments. Debt payments should not be more than 5 to 10 percent of your income.
Include Savings Goals
Savings is the most overlooked part of a personal budget, but it’s also one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Savings starts with building a rainy day fund of at least six months of income to protect against unexpected events such as job loss. The higher your income, the bigger this fund. This is the priority of your savings plan. Once your rainy day fund is established, you can then apply your savings to special projects or retirement investments. Savings within 10 to 15 percent of the income range should be considered a minimum.
Review Your Budget
Once you’re sure you’ve accounted for all expenses, review your ratio. The more detail you include in your budget, the more accurate your ratios will be, and the more useful this powerful budget tool will be.
How to Properly Cancel a Check
Many people have good reasons to cancel their checks. They may wish to void a misspelled check. Sometimes people accidentally write the wrong amount on a check, so the check needs to be voided. Sometimes, voided checks are required to set up direct deposit, or even electronic bill payments may be required. It’s not difficult to cancel a check. Of course, be sure to invalidate your check to prevent anyone from fraudulently using your check. To learn how to properly cancel a check, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind.
Avoid dominating property
If you want to clear checks that are still held by you, you will need a pen. You should avoid pencils as this removes the lead. Pen ink is permanent. The key is to use a writing instrument, which uses indelible ink. Those who are fraudulent can easily erase your “invalid” flag and write themselves a check.
Write the word “Void”
You will need to write “VOID” on the check that is usually paid to the recipient. Anyone who sees “VOID” on the payee line of a check will understand that your check is legally voided, even if the amount listed or the check happens to be signed, it’s a piece of useless paper, avoid The check is no longer viable or usable, and the amount is written cannot be cashed or used to pay the bill.
Add “VOID” to the payment box
Even if you’ve written an amount in the payment box, write “NOT” on it in dark ink. Blanking the main part of your check ensures that your check is used as little fraudulently as possible. Make sure you write the words as clearly as possible to avoid “VOID” errors.
Don’t skip the signature box
Yes, you should most definitely enter “VOID” again on the line you would normally sign on a check. Even if you have signed the check, be sure to write “VOID” above your signature in dark permanent ink. Many people are surprised that identity thieves can steal your money. Writing blanks in every major part of a check reduces the likelihood that someone will use it for fraud and use it to steal your money.
Both sides of the check are invalid
To prevent someone from finding an uncashed check and using it for nefarious purposes, you can also write “VOID” in capital letters on the front and back of the check. Some people just take the step of capitalizing blanks on the front of the check. However, there is also added security to write blanks in multiple places on the check to invalidate it.
keep a record
Naturally, you should keep a record of all voided checks. This is easy to do if you keep a paper record of your checks, but you can also do so on an online bank account. It also helps to add a quick note on why you canceled the check. You may have written the wrong amount. You may have written your check to the wrong payee.
decline direct deposit
For example, many times you may be asked to provide an invalid check if you are signing up for direct deposit into your account from your employer. Employers can keep checks to obtain a copy of the bank’s transfer number and checking account number. The payer needs this information to transfer funds to your account.
How to Cancel Checking Direct Deposit
If you leave a check for a vacancy with your employer, follow all the steps listed earlier in this list. Make sure every major section you check contains the word “VOID”. Rather than using any non-descriptive pen ink, consider using a Sharpie or writing instrument to make it clear that it’s permanent ink. This way, if your check is lost, it cannot be changed.
You can also cancel checks online if desired. Today, most online banks allow their customers to use a quick “stop payment order” to void online checks. Typically, you will need to log into your online checking account. You may need to visit the Customer Service section to find out how your particular bank has set up this feature. If you’re in trouble, you can always contact your bank and they can walk you through the process of stopping your payment, which essentially voids your check.
Double-check the information
If you do need to stop paying but are not sure if the online payment is correct, call your bank. However, make sure you have all the relevant information handy so bank staff can help you with the process. You will need the date of the check, the check number, and what the check is for. With these tips in mind, you can successfully and safely cancel checks.
Do you need life insurance once you retire?
Life insurance does not have to be exclusive to young people. It can also help retired people.
Times have changed, before it was taken for granted that by the time parents reached a certain age, their children were already independent and parents would not have any type of outstanding loan.
Now, the crisis has meant that many children have to continue living with their parents and that they still have mortgages in progress.
In addition, life expectancy has increased. Men live an average of 78 years, and women 84. In Spain, according to a fairly recent study, there are more than 8,500,000 people over 65 years of age.
Naturally, insurers have had to learn to adapt to these changes and offer their life insurance to seniors and retirees as well. The requirement to be able to hire him is based on the fact that they will have to carry out medical check-ups so that the company can determine the risk. Clearly, the cost that the fees will entail will not be as cheap as for a person who is much younger.
Life insurance is a policy in which the person who is insured protects their relatives, always depending on the coverage contracted and the amount of the premium paid and protects them in two cases:
- If the insured person dies, some eye med insurances usually advance an amount of money, destined to cover the expenses of the burial.
- If the insured person were to suffer an accident and survive, but the income of the dependent relatives is reduced in some way, the insurer will pay the established compensation.
Hiring life insurance as a retiree can be a really interesting offer that we should all consider since we never know what can happen to us, and above all for two fundamental reasons:
- Economic peace of mind for the person who is insured and also for their loved ones.
- Protection against any unforeseen event or accident that we may suffer.
The main coverage offered by this type of insurance is the payment of the stipulated capital in the event of death. However, there are many other options that you should know and take into account, such as:
- Repatriation. If we die outside of our city, the company will bear the expenses generated by the transfer.
- Disability due to a traffic accident. If the disability is caused by a traffic accident, the policyholder will receive an additional amount to the one he contracted in the policy.
- Death due to a traffic accident. The beneficiaries will obtain additional money for the amount of the insurance itself.
- Death of policyholder and spouse in an accident. The successful bidder or the children will receive an amount equal to that stipulated in the insurance for death in another situation.
- Psychological counseling. If the insured dies, their first-degree relatives may receive assistance from this professional.
It is true that both life insurance and funeral insurance are responsible for facilitating the situation for family members when the insured person dies. However, the purposes are different.
The first is in charge of financially compensating the beneficiaries so that life changes as little as possible, at least in economic terms. In addition, if the insured person does not die, it is he who receives the compensation, in case of disability.
On the other hand, funeral insurance deals with paying the expenses of the burial and its procedures.
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