Tag: budgets and savings

Debunking the myth of ‘good debt’

Debunking the myth of 'good debt'

Don’t prolong your state of debt by thinking some liabilities are smart to hold.

Think your low-interest mortgage is good debt? Think again. There is some comfort in believing that being in the position of owing money to someone or some company can in some circumstances be “good.” Suze Orman, arguably the world’s most popular personal finance author and guru, explains the supposed difference between “good debt” and “bad debt.” Mortgages and student loans are examples of good debt, while car loans and credit cards are bad. Some debt, like high-interest loans and credit card debt, are certainly worse than others, but rationalizing owing money to others by calling it “good” is a stretch.

When the public is willing to consider any particular type of debt good, the lending industry is the only winner in the long run. For the benefit of our own personal finances, we’ll prosper more by considering all debt bad and striving to eliminate that debt even if we feel it is good.

Don’t fall into the trap of prolonging your state of debt while holding the idea that these forms of owing money are somehow good. Here’s why “good debt” isn’t all that great.

1. Mortgages. A mortgage on a house is a classic example of a type of debt personal finance experts and real estate agents want the world to be at peace with. There is something to be said for mortgages: the reality is that only a small percentage of Americans would be able to afford to purchase a house without access to a loan. The lending industry and the government have historically made it as easy as possible to own a home. We’re not escaping home ownership debt any time soon.

The deeper reality is that the value of real estate increases at or a little higher than the rate of inflation over the long term, but is much more unpredictable over the short term — the length of home ownership most people experience. Some consider mortgages to be good debt because it allows a home owner to be highly leveraged, in a good position for appreciation, but it is risky.

In addition, the tax advantages to paying mortgage interest are frequently overstated. While most taxpayers see an increased refund thanks to the mortgage interest deduction, the benefit can’t compete with not paying interest at all. We’re stuck with mortgages for now, but there’s no solid reason for keeping them around longer than necessary, as one might do with anything called “good.”

2. Student loans. Student loans are an investment in the future; a bachelor’s degree in hand will significantly increase a person’s lifetime income compared with just a high school diploma. Again, the lending industry encourages taking on unnecessary debt, and colleges and universities are complicit.

It is unnecessary to borrow money to finance a college education. In his forthcoming book, Debt Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents, author Zac Bissonnette explains how student loans can be more devastating to an individual’s financial condition than a mortgage. Did you know that bankruptcy can eliminate your credit card debt and your mortgage but your student loan will not be forgiven? Even the government will garnish your social security wages if you default on your student loans.

Bissonnette also shows how there is no good reason to borrow money for an expensive private college or Ivy League university when the quality of education you can receive and your earning potential is matched or bested by an inexpensive, local state college. Reconsider the assumption that you pay a higher price for quality.

3. Start-up costs. Whether starting a business requiring an up-front purchase of inventory or have just graduated college and need to buy appropriate attire for a career, some personal finance experts advise the cash-strapped newbie to anticipate tomorrow’s income and pay for your expenses with a credit card or take out a loan today. This, like borrowing money to invest in something without a guaranteed return, is risky.

While it is often true that success requires taking some risks, consider your options for dealing with the worst-case scenario. Unemployment is still at a high level, and many of last year’s graduates are still out of work with credit card balances increasing. Most new businesses fail.

Even borrowing money to finance assets expected to appreciate like a house, a person’s income potential through education, and a career or business carries risks and in some cases can be fully avoided with smart preparation. You may hear some personal finance experts call these types of debt “good,” but they are far from beneficial. At best, they are like other debt but might help improve your financial condition or quality of life at some point. At worst, however, even this debt can devastate your future if not watched, cared for, and eliminated.

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Spending cuts you might not even notice

Spending cuts you might not even notice

These tricks could raise your income or reduce expenses without affecting your quality of life.

It’s painfully clear Americans are still hurting financially. Jobless claims are far too high if we’re actually in any kind of meaningful recovery. Penalty withdrawals from 401(k) plans have been increasing, not shrinking. Mortgage rates are hitting 40-year lows with regularity and we still can’t find a pulse in the housing industry.

If there was a magic wand that would sharply raise incomes or reduce expenses, we’d be out there waving like mad. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to cut and stretch. If you can afford it, give yourself some transition time to get used to spending cuts. Some will come at too steep a price in terms of your quality of life. But others may be painless, and you’ll never look back.

1. Know where your money goes.

This is Number One Obvious Idea that many people don’t follow. How can you possibly know how to save money if you don’t know what you spend it on? There are a growing number of online budgeting sites to help you. Use one, or do this yourself. Whatever you’ve been spending each month, try cutting it by 5 percent. Then cut it by another 5 percent the following month. Keep it up if you can, and put the savings in the bank or pay down debts.

2. Make a grocery list and don’t stray.

Once you’ve tracked household spending, you will see how much you spend at the supermarket. What’s less clear is that you also probably spend a lot of money on stuff you don’t need. In our house, we began downsizing our grocery spending by seeing what we were throwing out and the items that had freezer burn and should have been tossed. This helped sensitize us to unnecessary purchases. (My mom passed away nearly 30 years ago and I can still remember her hollering at me about wasting food.) We also save money by making fewer runs to the store. Our greatest savings come when we make a weekly meal plan, create a shopping list for that plan, and then buy nothing but what’s on that list.

3. Mothball a car.

If your household has two cars, try leaving one in the garage for a month. See how it affects your life. With a modest amount of planning, a lot of households might be able to make do with a single car. Once you’ve determined that you can do likewise, sell the second car, bank the money, and also begin enjoying lower bills for auto insurance, gasoline, and maintenance.

4. Try free phone service.

I’ve bought and used the MagicJack service, which is the most popular of its type. You order a small device — perhaps an inch and a half by three inches and about an inch thick — and it connects to your home computer. The software that launches when you connect the device provides easy-to-follow instructions. MagicJack also links from the computer to your existing phone set. So, you are making your phone calls over the Internet but using a regular telephone to do so.

I’ve found the audio quality higher than with products that require separate headphones and microphones. And picking up the phone is such a long-ingrained habit that there didn’t seem to be much to learn. You do need to get a new local phone number, which Magic Jack will provide at no extra charge. After the initial fee, there is no charge for domestic phone calls. This switch can easily save you hundreds of dollars a year. Think about keeping your existing phone line for a transition period in case MagicJack or a similar device doesn’t meet your needs. If you like the MagicJack and also have a cell phone, if could make sense to cancel your home land line and switch your home phone number to your cell. You’d lose your existing cell number but you’d at least be able to keep your old home number.

5. Trim television services.

Hey, I love my cable, and millions others love their satellite dishes. But if the times demanded, I would wave goodbye to a bundle of monthly cable charges. I’d also be in mourning during football season but I’d survive. I would install a digital antenna. And I’d begin making much heavier use of free online video sites that the networks and other providers offer.

6. Recheck insurance rates.

A year ago, I went out shopping to explore replacing all my insurance coverages. I wound up saving a bundle. When you’ve had your auto, home, life, and other insurance policies in place for several years, it’s easy to forget what I call “creepage” — those annual bump-ups in premiums. They really add up after a while. And while constantly rising health insurance rates may make it seem like premiums can only move in an upward direction, that’s not true. When you do shop around, you also may discover that your coverage needs have changed. If your cars are the same ones you had five years ago, for example, you probably don’t need as much collision insurance as you once did.

7. Forget about green; go brown!

The summer has been brutal where I live. But with dollars at stake, I am becoming very environmentally responsible. So what if even the goats pass by my yard?

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What you should expect from credit report repair company

What you should expect from credit report repair company

When signing up with a credit report repair company, ask the consultant what is included in the service. There are 3 parts to achieving a great credit score:

1.Repair
2.Trade lines
3.Education

A great credit report repair company will not only help with the credit report repair, but also guide you on what type of trade lines to obtain and educate you on how to use and pay those trade lines to maximize your credit score. Education on how to use credit cards for utility purpose only is extremely important!

Discuss your future goals

A great credit report repair company should ask initially what your future goals are. This way you and the credit report repair consultant have an idea of how many points you are away from your goal.

Knowing mortgage and banking guidelines prior to credit report repair

Make sure your credit report repair consultant is familiar with mortgage and banking guidelines. Somebody that is looking to purchase a home in the future, is going to be much different than somebody that is applying for a business loan.

Is your credit report repair company working for you?

Make sure the credit report repair company you are using has your best interest in mind. The reason most people seek a credit report repair company is to obtain a higher credit score in order to save money on interest rates.

Stay away from credit cards with high fees

Do not apply for unsecured credit cards with high fees. A short term fix can create a long term problem. If you are referred to a credit report repair company from a mortgage broker, real estate agent or a builder, ask the credit report repair company if they are going to continue working on your credit after you purchase the home. Your credit score should be the primary focus. You need somebody that is focused on helping you obtain the highest credit score you can achieve.

Does your credit report repair company have an office location?

Ask your credit report repair consultant if you can meet them at their office location. Many credit report repair companies operate out of their home. You want to be able to drop by the office and speak with somebody if you have any questions and concerns. It is important for you to get to know your credit report repair consultant. There is no better way to establish a relationship than a face to face meeting.

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Beware of price hikes at supermarket

Beware of price hikes at supermarket

A surprise jump in wholesale food prices in September is bad news for producers and retailers, but you won’t feel it in your wallet. Yet.

Producer prices — the amount farmers receive for their goods from manufacturers — rose by 6.9% compared to September 2010 or 0.8% on the month, the U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday. Wholesale prices — those paid by retailers — increased by an annual 2.5%; the biggest rise since June 2009. Worse, higher food prices aren’t limited to a particular food group. U.S. wholesale prices rose across the board due to the rise in energy costs and commodities like grain and coffee. Fresh and dry vegetable prices soared by 10% on the year last month; beef and veal prices rose by 5.4%.

Analysts say supermarkets will start passing price increases onto consumers slowly and quietly. “Most retailers have been reluctant to raise prices up until now and have eaten up the higher raw material costs,” says Michael Keara, an equity analyst for Morningstar. “But they will start.” Although food commodity prices have been climbing steadily this year, grocery stores have held off because they don’t want to scare price-sensitive customers. However, expect to see supermarket prices edging up in six to nine months, he says.

Consumers watching their wallets may also want to keep a closer eye on package sizes for their favorite foods. Keara says the jumps in wholesale and producer costs are so high that manufacturers are likely to cut quantity as a way of disguising price hikes. In other words, start making a note of how many ounces you get in your six-pack of your favorite granola bars. “They don’t want to shock consumers,” he says, noting that increases over 5% hurts sales volumes.

Shopping experts are already advising consumers to stock up, track expiration dates and freeze perishables. “Shoppers are shopping less frequently, twice per month,” says Nick Dellis, a spokesman for online grocery list site Ziplist.com. Stephanie Nelson, founder of CouponMom.com, which advises consumers on the best coupon-clipping strategies and deals, suggests buying chicken at the end of its two-week sale cycle and freezes it. Buying chicken at $2 a pound or half price saves her $450 a year.

Read more smart shopping tips >>

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8 phone calls that will save you cash

8 phone calls that will save you cash

Get the best negotiator in your house to pick up the phone and lower some of your bills.

Shopping online is undoubtedly convenient, but there are times when picking up the phone can save you some cash or, at the very least, score you a nice upgrade.

“Having that human element really helps,” says Laura Oliver, a deal expert who has scored plenty of deals just by making a phone call. “If you call and it’s not working, hang up and call right back,” she advises. “The phone lines are on a queue. You’ve got 15 to 20 other people you can try.”

She also points out it doesn’t have to be you who does the haggling for a better price. “You probably have someone in your house that’s your best negotiator,” Oliver says, advising consumers to let that person make the call.

Negotiate a Lower Credit Card APR

For people with average-to-good credit, the annual percentage rates associated with a credit card aren’t necessarily set in stone.

“Call your credit card company and say “Card X just sent me an offer for a card with 0% APR for a year and then a fixed rate of only 12%, which is much lower than the rate I’m currently paying you,” says Derrick Kinney, a financial adviser who specializes in helping families.

He says you should ask your current issuer if they can match the competing rate and, if not, it makes financial switch to transfer your current balance to take advantage of their competitor’s better offer.

“The fear of losing your business will usually make them match the offer,” Kinney says.

Read more

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How to read your credit report

How to read your credit report

The x-ray of your credit health can be dense, so just look for these six items.

You have one shot of your credit reports. And now? As you’ve probably heard about now, you are entitled to free copies of your credit reports. Federal law gives you the right to request your credit reports from three, one from each of the three major credit reporting agencies each year.

You can get them at a time or throughout the year. Personal finance gurus often recommend taking a report every four months that you regularly monitor your records. Anyway, checking your credit reports is a smart move considering that the information in your credit report determines your credit score.

But once you get the report, what do you do with it? How about giving the treatment of six minutes? Then you definitely want to read the full report in detail, a quick check on a handful of indicators can give you an instant assessment of how good – or bad – your credit is right now.

Here are six markers that can provide an X-ray of your credit health.

Late payments

Delinquencies are “enormous influence” on the credit score, said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. In fact, they represent 35 percent of your FICO score.

If you see the ratings invoices were paid 30, 60, 90 or 120 end, “it is very damaging” to your credit, he said.

The other factor is important here: the timeline. How was the end of the payment, and how long you make this mistake?

Following payment, the more it hurts your credit, says Evan Hendricks, author of “Credit scores and credit reports. How the system actually works, that you can do”

But the more time that has elapsed since you made a late payment, the less it will affect your credit, he said.

Limit high ratios of debt to credit

Credit scores typically look at your debt-ratio limit credit or “use” in two ways: They compare the balance on a revolving account to your credit available from that lender. For example, if you have a credit card with a balance of $ 1,000 and a $ 5,000 credit limit, this ratio would be 20 percent.

Scoring formulas also look at your debt-credit limit ratio is a second way: the calculation of the total of all your debts on the accounts revolving lines of credit against your total of these accounts.

So if you have four credit cards each with a credit line of $ 5,000 ($ 20,000 in credit), and you have a balance of $ 1,000 on two of them and nothing on the other two ($ 2,000 debt), this ratio would be 10 percent.

“In an ideal world, you want to have (ratios) of less than 10 percent,” said Hendricks. “But certainly you want to keep them under 40 percent. There is no magic.”

But if you use a balance of $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 with a card that has a $ 5,000 limit, “which will really hurt your score,” said Brobeck. “And what is worse, running up balances on several cards.”

Collection activity

In most cases, if you have an account that went to collections or have been written off as bad debt, you know about this, said Rhonda Bailey, credit counselor and manager of the review of credit report for Credit Counseling Non-profit Arkansas. But not always.

“There are a few cases, as an old utility bill after you have moved, (where) the collection agency and not find (the consumer) has forgotten about it,” she said. “I see that sometimes.”

If you find an article that is not yours, you can dispute and have removed from your report.

If the item is yours, you have decisions to make, says Bailey. Can you afford?

It’s a good idea to check the law of your state of limitations, which is the period of time creditors have to sue you over a debt. Your state attorney general’s office can give you that time, she said.

Separate this time, the question may remain on your credit report for seven years. Plus it was on your report, unless it affects your score.

Judgments, liens, bankruptcies

Hopefully you know if you have had major financial difficulties that involved judgments, liens or bankruptcies. However, if someone else uses – and looting – your financial identity, a notation on your credit report could be your first clue.

Same if a collector less-than-scrupulous you marked with another debt or taken action against you without proper notification.

When you get this report, the digitization of “public records” section, explains Michelle Doshi, the editor of publications for the Consumers’ Association Credit Union National. “If there are liens or bankruptcies, it is a good way to check. ”

Active accounts you have closed – Or never opened

You close a store card after moving. Or you finally had time to ask your daughter to close the card account you have co-signed for her when she was in college.

The next time you pull your credit report, if enough time has passed, we must show that these accounts are closed, said Doshi.

Looking back on your credit report “is a way to verify that you have closed and their dates are correct,” she said. If this should be a closed account on your credit report open lists, it’s a good time to contact the issuer and find out why.

Information drive

Another thing to watch is the accounts you do not remember opening the first place. The absence of a mix-up, which could be an “indication of identity theft,” says Doshi.

Your credit report will tell you who else has looked at my credit report. Called “investigations” into the credit-speak, they are of two types.

Applications are hard when you actually asked for new funding – has completed an application, signed documents, etc. – and asked a lender to verify your story. When you get a hard inquiry, your credit can take a slight decline. Hard inquires could affect your score for one year, but you will see on your report for two years.

Soft inquiries are what the credit bureaus put on your report when someone looks at your credit, but you did not request new loans. If you pull your own credit report, which is a soft inquiry. You’ll also see if a potential lender pulls your credit for marketing purposes. Applications software do not affect your score.

Applications are disks “such a small part of your credit score,” said Kelly Rogers, Chief Development Officer of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service a non-profit Orange County, California, and assistant professor at the University Chapman. “But that’s a great way to see if someone has used your information.”

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Top mistakes to avoid when refinancing

Top mistakes to avoid when refinancing

Low interest rates do not necessarily mean owners will save on their mortgages.

When interest rates are low, leading many owners to refinance before assessing the true consequences of their actions. A mortgage refinancing can benefit some homeowners, especially if they intend to stay in their homes for the long term or whether they can significantly reduce their interest rates. Sometimes, however, a mortgage refinance may be the wrong choice.

“People often make bad decisions because of what I call” the envy of interest rates “around the coffee table,” says AW Pickel III, CEO of Financial LeaderOne in Overland Park, Kansas “They jump to refinance just so they can tell their neighbors they got a lower rate.”

Here are five of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when refinancing.

Not comparing the actual rate

“Borrowers should shop around for a mortgage by comparing the APR (annual rate) of each loan, rather than the interest rate quoted,” said Gregg Busch, vice president of First Savings Mortgage Corp. in McLean, Va. “You must look at the actual cost of the loan and compare it to your current APR to ensure that you will really save a half point or more on the new loan. ”

Busch points out that many owners today are finding that their home is worth less than they assumed when they have an appreciation.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have added fees on loans with high loan to value, so borrowers need to reassess the rates and fees before they decide to refinance,” said Busch.

Borrowers who have little or no action may be eligible for refinancing under Home by the Government of affordable refinancing program, or harp, available to those with an existing mortgage owner or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

“The beauty of the HARP program is that it does not require an appraisal, so if you think you are underwater on your loan, this could be a good option,” said Busch. “Just make sure to compare rates and fees to see if the new loan is worth the cost.”

Choosing the Wrong Loan

Pickel said the first step when deciding to refinance is to establish a clear objective.

“If you think you can lose your job, but you have a moment, your focus should be to reduce your overall payments regardless of the length of the loan,” says Pickel. “If you want to be debt free by some years, then you need to find a loan that meets that goal.”

Pickel said that sometimes, even with a lower interest rate, you could end up making higher monthly payments due to packing in closing costs has increased the size of your mortgage.

Each borrower must look at the cost of refinancing and the financial benefits before choosing a loan, said Busch. Forget that some borrowers to refinance into another 30-year mortgage can add years of payments, especially if they have paid on the loan during a long time.

“A ARM 10 / 1 (variable-rate mortgage) or a 10-year fixed rate loan can sometimes be a better choice depending on the individual circumstances of the borrower,” said Busch.

Not Shopping Around

While many borrowers to compare loan offers from more than one lender, they can also shop for title services and save hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars on their loan.

“Check at least three lenders and at least three companies before choosing a title,” said Busch. “It can be an advantage to go to the Management Authority that manages your loan the same now, because they may require less documentation, but I recommend also searched at least one other direct lender to compare rates and expense. ”

Ask the company as a reissue rate on title insurance own your vehicle – Busch believes that this can save up to 35 percent on premiums.

When refinancing you should not

Charles A. Myers, president and CEO of Home Loan in Jackson, Mississippi, said refinancing can be a mistake if you do not plan to stay in your home for many years.

“One client wanted to refinance to improve his property and rent it, but it would have ended up with a larger mortgage and then need a different loan because the property is no longer the principal residence,” says Myers. “The key is to ensure that the refinancing has a net tangible benefit to the owner.”

Borrowers must decide how long they intend to stay in the property and determine the break-even as economies outweigh the costs before deciding to refinance, said Myers.

Does not follow the Borrower responsibilities

Owners should rely on a lender to refinance, but they have obligations of their own that they are not met, could derail the mortgage refinancing. Borrowers must have good credit to refinance with most lenders require a credit score of 640 and above even for a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, said Myers.

Lenders can check credit borrowers again just before closing, if you need to maintain good credit and avoid a new debt, even after the refi was approved.

“Check the lock-in date to the interest rate on your new loan to make sure you can close before the rate expires,” said Busch. “Be sure to turn in all your documents as soon as it is required, because a delay could mean that your date should be postponed.”

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Six money mistakes that savers make

Six money mistakes that savers make

If you’re spending tons of time and gas mileage hunting down coupon deals, think again. Here are some more common financial traps when we aim to be too frugal.

Falling for ‘Free’

It’s one thing if we go for a no-strings-attached free promotion, but buy-one-get-one-free deals or “free shipping with a $150 purchase” advertisements are just marketing gimmicks to get us to spend money we really shouldn’t. As behavioral economist Dan Ariely writes in his best-selling book Predictably Irrational, when something is free, it suggests to the consumer (incorrectly, as it happens) that there is no downside. Unless you had already budgeted for those two hand lotions from Bath and Body Works, that third free bottle is not really a deal.

Overdosing at the Dollar Store

Dollar-store stocks have been outperforming the broader market lately, as consumers seek bargains. But not everything in a dollar store is worth the price tag – and according to Consumer Reports, some items found at dollar stores can actually be dangerous. For example, researchers found that extension cords, lamps and other items may have fake UL labels certifying their safety. Over-the-counter remedies like aspirin may also be on shelves past their expiration date.

Buying in Bulk

The per-unit cost of an item at a Sam’s Club or Costco may be less than at a grocery store, but unless you can consume it all, it’s a waste of money. And although this might be a stretch, I have to think that the growth in the storage-unit industry is thanks to our culture’s obsession with excess. Today, one in 10 households rents a self-storage unit – up 65% over the last 15 years – for which they pay more than $8 per square foot. Are your bulk-buying habits leaving you crowded out of your house?

Excessive Couponing

At the beginning of April, the TLC show Extreme Couponing launched its second season. The coupon experts live in homes filled with gallons of housecleaning supplies, closets filled with dry goods and cabinets bursting with toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and anything else you can find down aisle 7 in CVS. Much of this stuff they got for a fraction of the price – maybe even for free. But I do wonder if all this running around and stocking up is really efficient. After adding up all the hours and gas mileage spent hunting down coupon deals, what’s your net profit? And do you really need 18 boxes of laundry detergent just because your coupon let you save 75%?

Fast-Food Dining

Dollar menus and fast food may satisfy your hunger for less today, but over time this behavior can carry a much higher price tag. A report by the Cancer Project found that most items advertised on Value Menus are high in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. And many items were linked to an increased risk of cancer. And researchers at the Dept. of Agriculture found medical costs stemming from obesity-related problems are about $10,000 higher than they are for those with a healthy weight.

Making Repairs Yourself

Sometimes it’s just cheaper to pay a professional, especially for services that take up a lot of your quality time or that require some serious expertise. Some big examples: reflooring or recarpeting your house, changing your car’s oil and estate planning.

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Most embarrassing credit problems

Most embarrassing credit problems

You never want to hear your waiter say, “Sorry, your card was declined.”

For people with bad credit, hard times are inevitable. When they occur, you can dig a deep hole and crawl in, but there are better ways to respond. Here are the most common scenarios involving embarrassing credit and answers most worthy.

1. “I’m sorry sir, but your card was declined.”

When a boy says these terrifying words, you are bound to flush crimson dining companions as speculate on the state of your finances.

Squelch panic, “said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education. Explain calmly that the tape may have been damaged, and make another card for the purchase. If she was denied because you are maxed out, however, and you have no plastic or other cash, excuse yourself and call the creditor to request an “opt-in for overlimit fees. “” This will allow operations overlimit to fill, “says Ulzheimer. You will be assessed a fee, but your reputation will be saved.

2. “Er, Jane, we need to discuss this issue before you pay.”

It’s awful to be sued for a debt, but it is horrible when your employer receives an order for garnishment of wages, a part of your salary should be given to your creditor.

Do not wait until the sheriff to serve hits the paper, said the trust expert Delores Pressley. Be proactive and request a meeting with your boss, saying: “I am terribly sorry that a personal question has extended to the workplace. I’ll find a solution as quickly as possible. “This straightforward approach may compensate for a negative opinion of your supervisor. Also, you can not be fired for garnishment (unless there was more than one in a period of 12 months), which may inspire some confidence.

3. “Rent to you with your bad credit? Ha!”

Ready to sign a lease? If your credit is terrible, you could be in the same humiliation that Matthew and Fiona Peters, Madison, Wisconsin, experienced.

As newlyweds, Peters thought they had found the perfect apartment. Yet in the rental office crowded, the agent announced loudly: “There is no way that we can rent with your credit. It is bad… very bad. “Every parent called and asked for help in vain.” After the second call, we sat there red-faced, wondering what we were supposed to do or say next, “said Matthew Peters.” It was emasculating!”

Today, Peters offers advice to others in similar situations, “Keep your cool and do not take it personally seen a high level for all residents not only protects the property owner’s investment, but people living there as well.. “Focus on your finer points.” You could say: “My credit is bad, but I’m busy and make it a point to always pay for my first home,” said Peters. You may need to sweeten the deal by offering a co-signer, doubling the deposit or to pay rent in advance.

4. “Great, once we see your credit file, we can complete your job application.”

credit checks pre-employment are the norm today – and you’ll want to hide if yours is full of big balances, late payments and accounts written off.

Sure, you can deny access to your reports, but it could encourage the hiring manager to build your resume. So stand tall and to disclose past problems at the front. Honesty can not increase your chances. And relax on shamefully low credit rating. “The credit bureaus and their professional organization (the consumption data Industry Association) have publicly stated countless times stating that they do not provide credit ratings and audit reports of the working credit” says Ulzheimer.

5. “Darling, I can not wait to start a life with you – buy a house, have children …”

Have terrible credit, but in the beginning of a long term relationship? Assuming it can be scary.

Like it or not, you must reveal the horrible truth. Then, commit to open communication and make amends, “said Joe Rubino, author of” Self-esteem book.” “Contact all debtors, make arrangements to clean the debts, start a savings plan, cut credit cards and take full responsibility for the management of future purchases responsibly.” Strengthen your skills and your faith life partner through financial counseling, therapy or life coaching.

6. “I need to talk with Mary about a bill pending.”

Whether calls or messages collection go to your workplace, roommate or relative, your private situation will become public.

First, the end of the phone calls. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits collectors third discuss your debt with anyone but you. And while they may contact you at work if you ask them to stop, they should. Tell them you know the law and that you will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, if they persist. Then, “said Rubino, act with integrity and clean up your mess of money. “This done, he is afraid of anyone except your own. If you feel the need to explain calls to anyone, just say you made financial arrangements to settle debts and the case is supported “.

7. “OK, Phil, go ahead and charge those costs and we will reimburse you.”

A business trip is imminent and you are supposed to book a hotel room, flight or rental car. Uh oh, you have no credit.

Do not worry, you’re not the only one not charging fees. About 29 percent of Americans live without credit. Suffice it to say that you only use cash, and ask to be paid with corporate funds or corporate card. Few employers balk at such a reasonable request.

Is it easy to deal with these credit problems mortifying gracefully? Of course not. But keep in mind that even a show of assurance from the air – and feel – better than avoidance.

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Tips for navigating Holiday Shopping

Tips for navigating Holiday Shopping

Its official name is Cyber Monday. But the first day on the job ­after Thanksgiving — when shoppers hit the Web for steals on holiday gifts — may as well be called the most unproductive workday of the year. Last year, Americans spent $733 million in one day, making hundreds of online purchases when their bosses turned their backs.

1. Be loyal.

Create an online shopping-only e-mail address and sign up in advance for newsletters and e-mails from your favorite retailers. Then you’ll snag surprising deals — Eddie Bauer, for example, lowers the free shipping barrier for loyalty program members from $100 to $50, though you have to enter a code. Gifts.com’s Gillian Joseph agrees it’s essential to sign up for the spam. “You can usually shop starting at midnight and don’t have to worry about waiting on line,” she confides. “And they often have a little promotion code at the bottom of the e-mail to see how far into the e-mail you’re going to read.” In other words, don’t just scan the subject line.

2. Make a list and check it twice.

The hype and deals of Cyber Monday can be overwhelming — and wallet-threatening. Avoid impulse buying by building a detailed list of must-haves. Sticking to a smaller number of stores is not only more manageable, but you will save on shipping (and single shipments aren’t just cheaper, they’re more eco-friendly, burning less jet fuel for delivery).

3. Get your browsing done.

Window-shop online or at your local mall — preparation is key to maximize time on Cyber Monday. “Do your looking online over the weekend, put your items in your cart and save them, then wait for an off hour to place your order,” suggests Christine Frietchen from consumersearch.com.

4.Use aggregators.

Instead of ploughing through Google’s vast, unsifted results, let someone else do the editing for you. For inspiration, check Luckymag.com’s 200 choicest boutiques or the recommendations on storeadore.com and shopstyle.com.

5. Think Cyber Saturday and Cyber Sunday.

Charlie Graham says smart shoppers (and those loyalty program members) can sometimes get online deals all weekend. “All the retailers are clamoring for the same dollars this year, so look a little early to get the scoop.”

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