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Business formation accelerates as authorities cut red tape

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Shanghai registered 37,539 new enterprises in May, a rise of 19.1 percent from the same period last year, thanks to a continuously improving business environment, the city’s market watchdog said on Wednesday. 

The daily number of newly registered companies in the city hit 1,976 last month, up 31.6 percent, the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation announced. 

“Shanghai’s new business entities maintain good momentum despite the epidemic,” said Chen Xuejun, director of the administration. 

“Authorities have improved the system, reformed procedures and cut the amount of materials required to be submitted when people establish new companies in the city,” Chen said during a radio program. 

In April, Shanghai’s market watchdog introduced the synchronous issuance of electronic operating licenses and seals to further cut red tape for enterprises.

Previously, companies were allowed to apply for electronic seals only after they received physical licenses and seals, which are mandatory in order to operate a business, said Chen.

Under the new move, electronic licenses and seals are automatically generated when a company’s business operations are approved, and they can receive both at the same time via mobile phone, he said.

The e-versions of licenses and seals have the same legal power as physical licenses and seals, the administration said. 

Business licenses have been issued to 130,800 companies under the new system as of June 5, according to the administration. 

Authorities in the city have also cut unnecessary market access and operation thresholds to spur the vitality of the market, the administration said. 

Multiple approval materials involving different government authorities have merged into a single permit service for companies when they apply to open restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and groceries to simplify application materials and cut review and approval time, the administration said. 

The concurrent examination and approval of licenses for health product manufacturing, wine sales and food operation is promoted with the goal of single application and synchronous processing, Chen said. 

“The license involves different permits such as health and fire, and different government authorities, and the information-sharing mechanism makes it convenient for applicants,” said Chen. 

Paperless online review and approval have been deepened to prevent the risk of cross-infection during the novel coronavirus epidemic, said Chen. 

In one case, an enterprise in Jing’an District obtained a business license under this model as its four shareholders were in different locations such as Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang Province, making it inconvenient for identity authentication.

In the past, they needed to submit materials at service windows, but the new practice allowed them to do the procedures online, said the administration. 

Authorities in the city have also used remote online reviews of enterprises’ applications of relevant qualifications, according to the administration.

To help enterprises resume operation and production, the administration released nine policies on credit repair such as streamlining procedures for companies producing prevention items for the coronavirus which apply to be removed from the abnormal operation list if they submit all required materials and affirm they are real and legal, the administration said. 

“Authorities will also use information technologies such as the Internet, big data and artificial intelligence to promote innovation in administrative approval system,” said Chen.

Those who can submit e-versions of certificates will be exempted from submissions of real ones, and the target is electronic, convenient and standard administrative review and approval of market supervision and management affairs, the administration said. 

Paperless online review and approval will proceed in registration affairs and administrative review and approval items in areas like food and industrial products, and the scope of online review and approval will be expanded, covering registration affairs such as the change of operation periods, according to the administration. 

Meanwhile, food-manufacturing companies in Shanghai will apply a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system this year to ensure food safety, the administration said. 

The system is the most economic and effective food safety control system recognized internationally, and it ensures food safety by identifying detailed hazards and key control measures during the food-manufacturing process, said Chen. 

Food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product under the system. 

Market watchdog officials have busted 442 cases regarding the epidemic with inspections covering 670,000 business venues and companies, and officials have handled 40,011 complaints and tip-offs about coronavirus from consumers, retrieving economic losses of more than 100 million yuan for them, according to the administration. 

Among the 442 cases, 160 involved price violations like gouging and 107 involved quality violations such as making and selling fake or substandard products, according to the administration. 

Among these cases, 293 concerned masks, with violations involving gouging, producing substandard masks and fabricating production dates. Meanwhile, 55 cases were about gouging prices of agricultural products. 

Nearly 70 cases regarded new sales channels like online stores, businesses on social software and express delivery platforms, the administration said. 

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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