Archive for: November 2013

Improving your credit is a matter of common sense

Everyone would like there to be some big secret to improving your credit around in an instant, but there isn’t one. It took time and bad credit habits to get you into trouble. It will take time and good credit habits to get you out of trouble.

That’s always part of our common sense advice. While you don’t want to hear it, the fact is that good credit management is just common sense. Pay your bills on time, keep your balances low and you will eventually rebuild your credit.


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Credit or Debit: Pick Your Plastic

In the debate over whether debit or credit cards reign supreme, there may never be a tidy conclusion. Some financial experts champion credit cards as the best payment method, citing their superior rewards and benefits and heightened fraud protection. Others say debit cards are the way to go, especially for certain types of spenders. “Some folks just don’t do well with credit cards,” says Alan Moore, a certified financial planner with offices in Milwaukee, Wis., and Bozeman, Mont. “They lose track of their expenses and seem to always be in debt.


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What Is Rapid Rescoring Service for Credit Score Adjustments

If you haven’t applied for a mortgage in the past six years and have a low credit score, you may need a rapid rescoring service. Back in the mid-2000s, people with credit scores as low as 580 could qualify for a mortgage – but things have since changed. If you want to qualify for a mortgage loan today, most lenders require at least a minimum credit score of 680. This is not a problem if you have a perfect credit report and a good credit score. If you also have sufficient income and adequate upfront cash, you’ve got your foot in the door.

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7 Reasons Why We Need to Start Budget Tracking Now

budget tracking

Sandy knows she is growing her savings by having a surplus each month and putting it in high yielding online banks. When she was puzzled about budgeting, she wrote in and said:

I have $100,000 saved up in bank accounts by following good frugal practices that you and others outline. I however don’t budget and never keep track of my expenses. I know I’m saving money because my account grows every month. Why should I budget …

There are many reasons to make a budget and keep track of all expenses apart from growing a surplus. 

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When Should You Consider Bankruptcy?


If you’re like most people, when you borrow money, you have every intention of paying it back. But then something happens; perhaps you lose your job or your hours get cut, your small business slows down, you get sick or you have to stay home to care for your children or an elderly parent. Whatever the reason, you find yourself unable to keep up with your payments.

When you find yourself struggling with debt, you’re no doubt searching for solutions. But the one you avoid — bankruptcy — may be the one you need the most. Here are four signs you should consider bankruptcy.


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Peer-to-peer loans catch on for credit card debt consolidation

More consumers than ever are seeking quick cash from peer-to-peer (P2P) lending sites, the online clearinghouses where people are matched with investors and receive money for debt consolidation, start businesses or fund home improvements.

The two major P2P sites — Prosper and Lending Club — are poised to have their biggest year ever. In the first four months of 2013, Lending Club made more than $480 million in loans to more than 31,000 people — roughly triple its numbers from the same period in 2012. Prosper made more than $50 million in loans in the same period, up about 20 percent compared with last year.


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Wants vs. Needs: How to Turn Grey Into Black & White

wants vs. needs

At their simplest, expenses really fall into two different categories: wants vs. needs

1. What you need: the things that you need to survive and function effectively in society: food, heat/electricity, a means of transportation, clothing, and water. I’ll even throw in basic telecom and insurance.

2. What you want: everything else.

The problem, of course, is that even in the category of things we “need”, there is a ton of grey area.


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Why Utility Companies Don’t Report to Credit Agencies

credit agencies

Every single month I get a bill from Georgia Power, Georgia Natural Gas, Dekalb County Water, Comcast, and AT&T.

And while most of you probably don’t live in Georgia, my guess is you have a similar list of utility obligations that you have to pay every month.

Utilities are a form of credit, meaning some sort of service is provided in advance with the expectation of payment being made at the end of some sort of billing cycle?

If utilities are “credit”, then why aren’t utility accounts commonly reported to the credit reporting agencies?


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10 worst government data breaches

government data breaches

The 2012 political races were dominated by a debate about the “makers” versus the “takers” of government data breaches among the American electorate.

But it was government agencies themselves that were taken — by hackers, security flaws and employee ineptitude.

Government agencies, from small county election boards to NASA, suffered data breaches. In fact, our federal and state governments have lost more than 94 million data records in the past four years, according to a recent report.

No. 10: NASA.

No. 9: County Board of Elections, North Carolina.

No. 8: School system, Tennessee.

No. 7: Wisconsin revenue department….


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11 Tips For Retiring When You’re Nervous About The Economy

Affording retirement can be a challenge even in the best economic times. But in our post-recovery world with its steady stream of fiscal uncertainty, retiring can seem the stuff of legend.

Surely, retirement is a more complicated proposition these days: A good 401(k) balance combined with Social Security just won’t cut it. Today, retirement planning needs to be more aggressive and focused, funds need to be more broadly sourced, and retirement itself needs to be more flexibly defined.


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