May 6, 2013

Why Use a Payday Loan Service

Why do people use a payday loan service? Is it mainly used for emergency cash needs or is it used to help pay bills? Actually, it's used for both. Payday loans serve a unique underserved population of people, who may not qualify for a traditional loan, yet these people are trying to be responsible and pay their bills on time. Maybe you have overspent, and the bills are starting to come in and you need some financial help. Or maybe you have a true emergency because the dishwasher, water heater, or car broke down at the last minute and you don't have any money in savings (now that's another story, but we won't get into that here). Does anyone ever plan a "medical emergency"? No they don't. Accidents just happen. Here are some thoughts on why payday loan companies may be able to help you if you use them responsibly.

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September 20, 2011

Prepaid Credit Card Highlight

Managing your money can now be a little easier with a Western Union® MoneyWise™ Prepaid MasterCard®. Having the name, Western Union, is a great benefit in and of itself as Western Union (NYSE:WU) is a leader in global payment services and provides a variety of products & services including: money transfer services, bill payment services, prepaid credit cards, and money orders. With the new Western Union® MoneyWise™ Prepaid MasterCard® you can enjoy "freedom from fees" and say goodbye to embarrassing credit checks along with the hassles of NSF or overdraft fees. Enjoy the following benefits:

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September 8, 2011

How to Find a Trustworthy Payday Loan Lender

Finding a trustworthy payday loan lender can be difficult, especially when you are in a hurry and you just need some fast cash so you can pay those bills before late fees start arriving, or overdraft/NSF charges start accumulating. Overdraft and NSF charges are often much more costly than fees incurred from payday loans. Take the time to check these 4 items before you choose your payday lender.

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July 6, 2011

CitiFinancial Formally Re-brands to OneMain Financial

CitiFinancial, the consumer lending arm of Citigroup, formally changed its name to OneMain Financial effective July 1, 2011. Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C), the world's leading financial services provider, has more than 1,800 locations across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Although the name OneMain Financial is new, the history behind it is not, as the company has been providing loan solutions since 1912.

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February 22, 2011

Effect of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, also known as the Credit CARD Act of 2009. This credit card reform legislation focused on establishing fair and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit while removing complicated contracts and practices that often lead consumers to pay more than they reasonably expected. In essence the main elements of this law were the following: Ban Unfair Rate Increases, Prevent Unfair Fee Traps, Plain Sight /Plain Language Disclosures, Accountability, and Protection for Students and Young People. Some of the specific requirements in the Credit CARD Act of 2009 include the following: card companies must notify consumers 45 days before they make any big changes to the terms of their cards, including rate increases or penalty fee changes; and credit card companies must disclose how long it will take consumers to pay off their balances if they only make the minimum payment each month. In addition, it banned most rate increases during the first 12 months after a card is issued to a consumer, confined any increases to new purchases, and required the card companies to apply any payments above the minimum to balances carrying the highest interest rate. Initially there was speculation that this new law may restrict access to consumer credit and raise costs. Fortunately for the consumer, this new law is initially being proved successful in accomplishing its stated goals.

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December 29, 2010

How to Reduce Your Debt

Debt is not in and of itself a bad thing; it is actually the grease that keeps the U.S. economy moving. However, debt has taken on a negative connotation during this economic recession with out-of-control consumer spending, people living beyond their means, and individuals borrowing more money than they can afford to pay back. These issues have all contributed to the current financial crisis. If you find that you have accumulated too much debt, there are various ways to tackle it. Here are a five suggestions to get you started.

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December 7, 2010

Strategic Mortgage Defaults: A Financial or Ethical Issue

The recent recession has been marked by reduced consumer spending and ballooning debt burdens, rising unemployment and falling home values, and considerable hardships for countless people. The pain is real for those who have lost their jobs (almost 8 million since the recession began) and their homes (1.2 million) (Source: MSNBC, 2010).

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September 15, 2010

Teaching College Students to Handle Credit Cards

Although the recently enacted Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 imposed credit card restrictions, credit cards continue to be a great convenience for both college students and their parents. Under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, if you are under age 21, you will need to show that you have the income to make required payments or get a co-signer age 21 or older who has the ability to make such payments. The advantages of credit cards are many: it reduces the need to carry cash; enables students to purchase books, clothing, and other incidentals; and provides a ready source for emergency funds. There is also another advantage -- students who handle their credit cards responsibly have a head start on establishing a good credit history that can help them gain access to lower-interest credit after graduation.

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August 11, 2010

How to Improve Your Credit Score

As lenders have clamped down on issuing credit, your credit score now has a more significant impact on loans available to you, the interest rate and fees you'll pay, and other terms of the loan. Thus, it is more important than ever to understand your credit score and how you can improve it.

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December 3, 2009

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before You Retire?

A recent study found that 41% of homeowners between the ages of 60 and 69 still have a mortgage on their home. Of those, 51% had sufficient assets to repay their mortgage (Source: Center for Retirement Research, July 2009). The study found that most households would be better off paying their mortgage off, since the cost of the mortgage is higher than their investment earnings. But is that good advice for your situation? Before making this decision, be sure to consider these factors:

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July 31, 2009

Time Running Out for Student Credit Cards

Time is running out for college students to get their own credit card. Starting in February 2010, those under 21 will no longer be able to get a credit card unless they can prove they have the means to prepay the debt or a parent co-signs. The new law is meant to make it tougher for young people to get credit.

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April 23, 2009

Making Sure that Bankruptcy is the Best Option for You

Bankruptcy allows people to make arrangements for paying off or eliminating their debt through a legal process that is not at all simple. Any bankruptcy case will involve courts and filing for one will involve a number of consequences. This is the reason why it should not be seen as the easy way out of financial obligation.

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April 7, 2009

What's Your Credit Score?

How is it that you can apply for a mortgage, credit card, or car loan over the phone and be approved or declined in a matter of seconds? For speedy access to credit -- and the mountain of credit card "preapprovals" you get in the mail each month -- you can thank an invention called the FICO score.

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January 26, 2009

Escaping the Credit Card Trap: Getting Your First Credit Card

(A continuing series)
If you're new to the working world, or are still in college, you may be wondering why you should get a credit card at all. One the one hand, you see thousands of people struggling with high interest payments for years and years, while on the other access to all that cash is pretty tempting. Unfortunately, the banking system is essentially holding your credit hostage to make sure that you borrow money or at least have an open line of credit. Your credit score is partially determined by the following factors:

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January 20, 2009

Escaping the Credit Card Trap: Choosing Which Cards to Pay First

(A continuing series)
If you are carrying a large credit card debt, chances are you have several cards with outstanding balances. Paying the minimum balances on each card means that it will likely take many, many years before you get them all paid off. You must pay as much extra every month as you can afford in order to get rid of those balances. Just look at the finance charges on your statement. Add them all up and multiply by twelve. That's how much extra cash you'd have in your pocket each year if you got rid of your credit card balances. That's not even counting the principal repayments.

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January 13, 2009

Escaping the Credit Card Trap: Dealing with Emergency Expenses

(A continuing series)
Any advice that I can give you about getting rid of your credit card debt is absolutely worthless unless you do one thing first: stop using your credit cards. If you do everything else right, but continue to rack up new charges on your credit card then you can't rid yourself of the seemingly endless cycle of finance charges and credit card payments. For many people, the decision to end the use of credit cards works fine until there is a large unexpected emergency. Whether it's an auto repair bill, a washing machine that stops working, or some other unplanned expense, the credit card often seems like the only option.

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January 7, 2009

Escaping the Credit Card Trap: Take Advantage of the Marketers

(A continuing series)
If you're carrying large balances on your credit cards, you see the finance charges that are added every month on your statements. Add up all these finance charges for one month and then multiply by twelve. Ask yourself if you could find better uses for that money than giving it to the credit card companies. That's your incentive to get those cards paid off and to get your interest rates lowered in the meantime.

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January 5, 2009

Escaping the Credit Card Trap: Cancelling a Credit Card Can Increase your Interest Rate

(Part one of a continuing series)
For many people, credit cards have become a necessity and that's fine as long as they are used properly. However, many people continue to increase their credit card balances year after year and find themselves paying a significant portion of their income to the credit card companies every month with no end in sight. When a credit card is finally paid off, many of these frustrated consumers cancel the card outright so that they'll never get caught up in the credit card trap again.

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December 22, 2008

Filing Bankruptcy Pro Se: Choosing The Option That Works Best For You

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy then obviously you're experiencing some serious financial difficulties. Perhaps bill collectors are hounding you, your paycheck is being garnished, or your home is at risk of being foreclosed due to your inability to keep up your mortgage payments. All these reasons and more would push anyone to file for relief through bankruptcy. If only bankruptcy attorneys understood how distressing being in debt can really be and charged little or no money to represent individuals in bankruptcy cases, but unfortunately most attorney fees are high. If you're facing such a challenge and can't foresee how you could possibly afford high fees but need relief that only filing bankruptcy can provide, you can still file bankruptcy without paying an attorney money that you don't have, by representing yourself.

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December 1, 2008

Handling Credit Collection Agencies

When you start to get behind on your bills, you may begin to receive calls from one or more collection agencies, or companies contracted by consumer creditors to collect money on delinquent accounts. When receiving a call from a collection agency, it helps to know how to handle the pushy personality on the line.

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November 24, 2008

Credit Cards are the Basis of Most Credit Reports

Since the introduction of credit cards many years ago, the function of the free market has changed dramatically. From the very first, credit cards were a popular invention. Most people today have at least one credit card. Even people who have shown themselves to be irresponsible with credit usually find ways to get credit cards. While you can get credit cards with just about any type of history showing on your credit report, you pay a heavy cost with the terms you get on your credit cards and on any loans you may need one day for an automobile, small business or home.

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November 12, 2008

Managing Your Mortgage and Credit Card Debt

Instead of saving, consumers have been refinancing or borrowing against their home equity and using credit cards as cash. But with home values decreasing and foreclosures increasing, debt no longer looks like the solution to consumers' money problems. Lenders are becoming more stringent in their lending criteria, while consumers are now faced with the reality that it is dangerous to live beyond your means. It's now time for everyone to return to the basics about debt. Consider the following strategies as it relates to your mortgage debt and credit card debt:

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October 8, 2008

The Economic Hardship Deferment - Avoid Defaulting on Federal Student Loans

In a troubled economy, working Americans are struggling to meet basic expenses. Affording repayment of federal student loans is challenging because housing, food, and energy costs continue to inflate while real earning power decreases.

When you're in deep financial trouble and have become or are about to become more than 90 days delinquent on repaying your federal educational loans, you are in danger of defaulting. To avoid having this situation ruin your credit, read this brief discussion of why you should contact your lender to see if your circumstances qualify you for the federal economic hardship program. If you qualify, the federal government will pay the interest on your subsidized loans while in deferment.

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September 24, 2008

Credit Monitoring Services: Are They Worth The Money?

Everyone knows that having good credit is absolutely necessary. If your credit is poor, you will be judged harshly, and denied the credit that you may need in order to finance a house or car in the future, or even get approved for a credit card. Unfortunately, with identity theft on the rise, it's difficult to know what exactly is on our credit reports at all times. One way to keep constant track of what goes on with your credit is subscribe to one of the many credit monitoring services. These agencies charge you a monthly or quarterly fee to constantly keep track of what goes on with your credit report from all 3 major credit bureaus.

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September 10, 2008

Bankruptcy: Is it a Good Idea?

If you're considering filing bankruptcy, whether Chapter 7, which is total liquidation, or Chapter 13, where you repay your debts through the courts, chances are you're at the end of your rope when it comes to your finances. You are probably experiencing a great deal of stress caused by being unable to pay your bills and the fact that your credit score is steadily declining. There is no reason to stress, though, because there is help available for your situation. If you need help deciding whether or not bankruptcy is the right thing to do, there are several things that you need to take into consideration first. Deciding to file bankruptcy isn't a decision that can be made over night, but if your situation is dreadful, chances are bankruptcy will help you more than you ever thought possible.

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July 18, 2008

Questions to Ask When Refinancing Your Mortgage

Borrowers seek to refinance their home mortgages for two main reasons. Refinancing helps borrowers to reduce debt servicing costs through negotiation of better mortgage terms. This is especially true when interest rates trend downwards as they are doing now. Some borrowers also refinance to cash out their home equity. These refinancing plans are embarked upon with the intention of getting some financial relief. However, careless planning or bad advice can lead to the reverse. Consider your answers to the following questions when evaluating your refinancing options.

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June 30, 2008

The Advantages of Credit Repair Agencies

If your credit is anything less than a-1 then you would probably benefit greatly by credit repair. Credit repair can be achieved in quite a few ways, depending on your particular circumstances and what actually appears on your credit report. If you only have a couple items that have been on your credit report for years then you'd probably be better off working toward having the items removed yourself, or either wait the short time for them to automatically come off. On the other hand, if you have a great deal of recent items on your credit report and wish to make an improvement then your best bet may be to contact a credit repair agency. Credit repair can be a tedious, time-consuming task and if you're able to pay someone else to do it, you should certainly do so.

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June 23, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

There is a new type of mortgage that has many benefits for those over 62 years of age. This type of mortgage will grant you a lump sum of money to be used for whatever purpose you choose, as well as allow you to live in your home worry and mortgage-free. If you're considering getting a reverse mortgage for whatever reason, there are several things that you need to consider before making a commitment. There are positive and negative aspects of reverse mortgages, and you need to make sure that the advantages of getting this type of mortgage outweigh the disadvantages. You also need to be sure that you choose a reputable mortgage company. There unfortunately are many unscrupulous lenders who are seeking individuals to take advantage of, especially seniors, because of their increased vulnerability.

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June 16, 2008

The Disadvantages of 40-year Mortgages

Not long ago, a new option was created for perspective homeowners: 40-year mortgages. Many people are quite excited about this new way of buying a home, as it allows the payments to be spread out over a longer period of time. Since the payments are spread over a longer period of time, of course each monthly payment is lower. This is why this type of mortgage is attractive for some homeowners, especially those with lower incomes or those trying to save money. Even though some people interested in purchasing a home may be initially attracted to a 40-year mortgage, in the long run it may not be such a wise choice.

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June 2, 2008

The Benefits of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Whether you already have a mortgage or you plan on getting one sometime in the near future, it would be greatly beneficial to you if you were to pay it off sooner than what the terms require. First of all, by the time you actually pay off your mortgage the conventional way, you will have paid an astronomical amount of money, especially if your credit is less than perfect and your interest rate is high. Even if your interest rate is low, if you pay close attention the projected amount that you will pay with the added interest over the years, you will quickly realize how much wiser it would be to reduce the amount of interest that you have to pay as much as possible.

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May 16, 2008

Sub-Prime Home Loans: Should You Get One?

Just about everyone has a difficult time financially on occasion, but unfortunately some people experience financial problems severe enough to adversely affect their credit. Problems that cause you to be late making payments, filing bankruptcy, etc. can lower your credit score significantly, making it difficult to qualify for almost any type of loan, especially a mortgage. Fortunately, many companies have made it easier for nearly anyone to own a home, regardless of their credit situation.

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April 21, 2008

Watch Out for the Credit Card Default Clause and Universal Default Clause

If you do not have the first clue as to what default and universal default clauses are, then you are one of those credit card users that most credit card companies come to love. First of all, you should know which one of these two practices your personal credit card uses. If you want to find out, try reading the small print that came with your credit card. If you already tossed that information away, call your credit card company's customer service department and ask.

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April 18, 2008

The Lowdown on Payday Advances

Unexpected expenses such as car repairs, medical bills, college tuition, etc. can arise at anytime in a person's life, causing serious financial hardship. Unfortunately, many people are unprepared for these costs, and often have few options when it comes to obtaining the money that they need in a timely manner. So what are you to do if you find yourself in such a situation? A payday loan is one option, but only as an absolute last resort, and only if you plan on paying back the loan in full on your next payday should you even consider getting a payday loan.

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April 2, 2008

Buying a Car with Less-than-perfect Credit

If your credit is less-than-perfect and you find yourself in need of a new car, there is no reason to think that you have to catch the bus or buy a bicycle. It doesn't matter if you've got a few late payments on your credit report, or numerous delinquencies, charge-offs and judgments, you have many options for getting the car that you need. You won't have to settle for a wreck that will break down a week after purchasing it, either. You can buy a nice and dependable vehicle that you will be proud to drive.

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March 7, 2008

How to Control Your Spending

If you are trying to increase savings, remember that savings are directly tied to spending -- the less you spend, the more you have to save. Some tips to help you get your spending under control include:

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January 14, 2008

Advantages and Disadvantages of Paying Off Your Mortgage

Here are advantages and disadvantages to paying off your mortgage. On the positive side, any extra money sent with your mortgage payment is applied to the outstanding principal, which can significantly reduce your total interest cost. This reduces your interest expense deduction on your tax return, but you are paying most of the cost anyway. For instance, if you're in the 25% tax bracket, you save 25 cents in taxes for every dollar of interest, but you're still paying the remaining 75 cents.

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January 11, 2008

How to Avoid Credit Problems

Most people do not realize that having a good credit rating in today's economy is very valuable. Having a bad credit rating can result in having a negative financial profile that can cause many problems when you have a legitimate need to borrow money. Consider trying to purchase a home without a mortgage. A bad credit rating can adversely affect your application for a home mortgage. It is essential that you value your credit rating in order to be able to have the necessary use of credit that will enable you to live the life your wish to enjoy. Here are a few tips to avoid getting into credit problems:

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December 31, 2007

Become Debt-free in 2008

The year 2008 starts tomorrow and a great deal of people will be making New Year's resolutions. One of the more popular resolutions besides losing weight is to make more money and/or get out of debt. If you are one of the millions who have decided to make more money in the coming year, then there are several ways to ensure that this goal is achieved. There is no need to be burdened with accumulating expenses and annoying calls from bill collectors. By applying a few simple strategies, you will be able to pay off those bills in no time, and even have money left over for occasional splurges.

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November 12, 2007

Life After Foreclosure

If you're reading this article, chances are you've lost a home due to foreclosure, or either you know someone who has. If you have lost your home and think that you will never be a homeowner again, you are greatly mistaken. If you have the desire to buy a home following a foreclosure, then there are ways for you to achieve this goal. Many mortgage companies now have "creative" ways to get people with derogatory credit, short time on the job, and other special situations approved for mortgages. You would be surprised how easy it can be to qualify for a mortgage, even following a foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce, etc. By following the subsequent tips, you are guaranteed to become a homeowner for a second time.

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October 31, 2007

How To Avoid Credit Problems

Most people do not realize that having a good credit rating in today's economy is very valuable. Having a bad credit rating can result in having a negative financial profile that can cause many problems when you have a legitimate need to borrow money. Consider trying to purchase a home without a mortgage. A bad credit rating can adversely affect your application for a home mortgage. It is essential that you value your credit rating in order to be able to have the necessary use of credit that will enable you to live the life your wish to enjoy. Here are a few tips to avoid getting into credit problems:

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October 24, 2007

What Fees Are Included in the APR or Annual Percentage Rate?

Financial lenders calculate the APR or annual percentage rate using a formula that takes into consideration the various expenses associated with the mortgage. Some fees are always calculated into the equation while others are never included. In fact, some fees are considered when calculating the APR by some lenders, but not by others.

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September 26, 2007

How Does Credit Counseling Help Me?

According to the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC), “In FY 2006, 93.1 percent of NFCC clients within the HUD Intermediary who received housing counseling and for whom the NFCC has confirmed outcomes, avoided foreclosure.” This is a powerful statistic.

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September 24, 2007

Repair My Credit

Knowing how to stay out of bad financial situations might be the smartest thing that consumers can learn. However, simply knowing how to avoid problems doesn’t always mean that an individual will be able to stay out of trouble. The path of life sometimes involves unexpected expenses that create financial ruin and play havoc with an individual’s credit history.

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September 21, 2007

Three Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure

This article addresses a common concern faced by people during an economic slump: fear of foreclosure. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides free advice for mortgage holders who are trying to avoid foreclosure. Three of HUD’s tips are developed here.

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September 5, 2007

Re-establishing Your Credit: Pros and Cons of High Interest Credit Cards

If you’ve had a few late payments, charge-offs or similar problems and now your credit is in shambles, don’t despair; there is a way to repair it. Before you choose the course of action that is best for you, there are many things that you need to be aware of during your quest to improve your credit rating. Although your intentions may be good, your efforts may actually be counterproductive when applying for credit cards created specifically for individuals with bad credit. On the other hand, there are some good aspects of credit cards for those with bad credit, so it’s very important that you take several things into consideration before committing to a specific bank for a credit card.

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August 27, 2007

A Guide to Understanding APRs

Before the Federal Truth in Lending Act was passed, it was quite difficult for consumers to understand all of their options when applying for a loan. While banks were always required to provide information regarding their fixed interest rates, they were not always as forthcoming when it came to disclosing other fees or charges that were often associated with the loan. After the Federal Truth in Lending Act was passed, banks and other lending institutions were required to disclose all of the fees and charges associated with a loan. To assist in complying with this law, the APR system was developed. The APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, helps to accurately measure all of the costs that are associated with a loan.

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August 22, 2007

Credit Score Basics

Credit scores are calculated using all of the available information about a person’s credit history. They take into account the person’s level of debt, level of available credit, employment status, homeowner status, and more. Many members of the finance industry use these to determine the efficacy of extending additional credit by way of loans and credit cards to an individual.

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August 20, 2007

Do-it-yourself Bankruptcy: Why it’s Not Always a Good Idea

For many people, making the decision to file bankruptcy is a long and difficult process. No one wants to take such drastic measures in order to improve their financial situation, but in many of the cases there is no other option. Individuals who file bankruptcy usually can barely pay their rent and other bills necessary just to be able to live, let alone those from credit cards, car loans, etc. Bankruptcy is often the only solution that will give them a fresh start in life.

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August 1, 2007

Tips for Renting an Apartment with Sub-prime Credit

Renting a new apartment with poor credit doesn’t have to be a total nightmare like you may believe. In fact, it may be a lot easier than you think, provided you follow the subsequent tips during your search. Years ago, apartment managers and mortgage companies were extremely strict, and if you didn’t have perfect credit, or as close to perfect as possible, there was no way that you’d be approved. Nowadays, it isn’t quite as difficult to get approved for an apartment.

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July 23, 2007

Tips for Opening a Checking Account After Being Reported to Chexsystems

Just about everyone can appreciate the convenience of having a checking account. Checking accounts allow you to easily pay your bills, whether on the phone, on the web, by mail or in person. You can also set up automatic withdrawals with a checking account, to avoid late payment penalties and eliminate the need to remember when certain bills are due each month. The list of the advantages goes on and on, depending on how you choose to use your account and what goals you have in mind.

What most people fail to realize, though, is that having a bank account is a privilege, and if for some reason you don’t responsibly handle your account, that privilege will be revoked.

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July 13, 2007

Life After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Rebuilding Your Credit

Life after bankruptcy isn’t always as daunting as you may think. Many people think that they won’t be able to obtain new credit after such a financial “disaster” but this is totally untrue. Believe it or not, depending on the company, many lenders prefer that applicants have filed bankruptcy as opposed to having a credit report full of charge-offs, late payments and repossessions. Some people consider bankruptcy to be a way of “wiping the slate clean,” and in a sense, it is. Those who extend credit to people with recent bankruptcies know that not many individuals are going to pay late again, since the bankruptcy has given the person a fresh start. Also, according to many lenders, those with fresh bankruptcies should now be able to comfortably pay his or her bills with no problems, since all the debt is gone.

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May 23, 2007

Bank of America Offering NASCAR Checking Accounts

Hoping to build on its newfound expertise in credit cards and on NASCAR fans' loyalty, Bank of America Corp. has begun offering a NASCAR checking account to try to drive more retail business to its automated teller machines and branches. This follows on the heels of the NASCAR RacePointsSM Visa® Credit Card issued by FIA Cards Services, N.A. which we discussed in a previous blog entry. It appears that "sports affinity" marketing and the financial services industry have discovered one another.

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March 4, 2007

FirstAgain Provides Loans to Borrowers with Excellent Credit

A new lender started business recently with an innovative loan product. If you have watched any business news on the TV the last few days, in addition to the big Stock Market swings, you have heard a lot about problems in the sub-prime lending market. Sub-prime loans are loans to borrowers who do not have the best credit credentials. Some big name lenders have gone out of business recently or had to take sizeable writedowns because of delinquent loans. No big surprises there as these are "high-risk" loans anyway.

So who and what is this new, innovative lender and product? How about a lender who only makes loans to people with excellent credit? That's right, I said excellent credit. What a concept. It's about time someone realized that even people with good credit need a loan occasionally and that they deserve preferential rates and terms for having exercised fiscal responsibility.

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February 13, 2007

Becoming Debt Free

Increasing debt levels can make it difficult to achieve your financial goals. If a significant portion of your income is going toward debt payments, that leaves less available to put aside for your financial goals. While it may be difficult to achieve debt-free status when you own a home with a mortgage, it is a reasonable goal to owe no debts other than your mortgage. To help you with that goal, consider the following steps:

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January 23, 2007

Loan Carefully

Responding to a request for a loan from a family member or friend can be difficult. Often, the reason they're asking is because a bank or other lending source has turned them down, making them less than an ideal credit risk. Carefully consider such a request before agreeing to loan money. Consider these points:

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November 23, 2006 Launches State Specific Mortgage Center is pleased to announce the launch of their Mortgage Center. Unlike numerous other sites where the user is expected to fill out a form in order to receive a competitive mortgage quote, the new Mortgage Center offers State Specific mortgage quotes from both local and national lenders. Users are able to see updated quotes that show rates, APY, points and closing costs. If interested, users can then click through directly to the specific lender to fill out an application or request more information online. The new Center supports purchases, refinancings, and home equity loans. Types of loans available include conventional fixed loans, jumbo loans, adjustable rate mortgages, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit. All companies listed are actual mortgage companies, not loan aggregators, and any listing showing rates older than 7 days are dropped so users can be comfortable they are seeing timely, relevant information.

September 14, 2006 Launches Payday Loan Database is pleased to announce the launch of our new Payday Loans Database. Up until now, if a borrower wanted to find a payday loan company they would go to one of the major search engines like Google or Yahoo, type in payday loan, and then be presented with thousands of entries and ads to choose from. The user would then need to "drill down" to each entry and possibly need to read numerous pages to find relevant information like fees and conditions. We have tried to simplify the process by presenting to the searcher a matrix of the top national payday loan providers with data on fees, terms, and both short and long descriptions. Potential borrowers can then apply online directly with the company that appears the most attractive for their particular needs.

August 28, 2006

Fast Facts on Prepaid Credit Cards

Prepaid Credit Cards are becoming more popular as consumers veer away from checks and cash. These cards are ideal for consumers on a limited budget. The prepaid cards allow for the convenience of easy spending, while limiting the possibility of overspending. Not only are they easy to use, but also, they are easy to purchase.
What is it?

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July 22, 2006

5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Credit and Identity Theft

Today’s fast paced world of electronic convenience has made identity theft an ever-increasing problem. You probably know someone who this has happened to – it may have happened to you. It can be a nightmare – and an expensive and time consuming one at that. There are simple actions you can take that can help to protect your identity and your credit rating:

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June 28, 2006

I’ve Been Sued by a Creditor!

No matter how many times it happens, it always causes a cold lump to form in the pit of your stomach: you just opened your mail to discover that a complaint that has been filed against you in court by one of your creditors. The situation seems hopeless: if you didn’t have enough money to pay the creditor in the first place, where on earth will you find the money to hire a lawyer to fight the lawsuit? Your first instinct is to throw the complaint away and pretend it never happened. After all, you think, I don’t have the money to pay, so how can a legal judgment hurt me?

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June 19, 2006

How to Rebuild Your Credit After Filing Bankruptcy

After a great deal of thought, you finally decided that filing a bankruptcy was right for you and your family. You have proceeded through the bankruptcy court system and your debts have been discharged. You have a clean slate—except that your bankruptcy is appearing on your credit report and causing your credit score to nosedive.

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May 9, 2006

Use a Budget to Control Spending

First, keep this in mind, almost no one enjoys the process of analyzing and budgeting expenditures. But inefficient and wasted expenditures can be major impediments to accomplishing your financial goals. It is difficult to manage your money if you don’t know how much you have or where it is going. Consider these steps when developing your budget:

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April 13, 2006

Investing vs. Paying Off Debt

It can be difficult to decide where to allocate your funds when you want to both increase your investment portfolio and reduce your outstanding debt. The decision typically depends on the potential return of the investment compared to the interest rate paid on the debt.

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March 15, 2006

Controlling Student Loans

Paying for a college education is no small task, with the average annual cost of a four-year public college at $15,566 and of a four-year private college at $31,916 for the 2005-06 school year (Source: Trends in College Pricing, 2005). You may not want to count on financial aid, especially since approximately 47% of all financial aid awards are loans (Source: Trends in Student Aid, 2005). Even if you have been diligent about saving and qualify for some financial aid, you may need student loans to get through college. In fact, the typical college student who borrows to finance a bachelor's degree from a public college graduates with $15,500 of student loans (Source: Trends in Student Aid, 2005).

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March 12, 2006

Take Control of Your Debt

Most long-term financial goals require saving — perhaps for retirement, a child’s college education, or a down payment on a home. Thus, most people focus on saving, not realizing that debt can be a major obstacle to pursuing those financial goals. You may have little left over for saving if debt payments are consuming a significant portion of your income. Or your debt could cost more than you are earning on your investments.

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March 8, 2006

Kiplinger on Prepaid Credit Cards and Teenagers makes the case that there are circumstances when a Prepaid Credit Card is appropriate for your teenager...

February 14, 2006

The Basics of Credit Scores

When lenders evaluate a credit application, they usually request both your credit report and your credit score, which is a mathematical calculation based on information on your credit report. The score is intended to rate your credit risk, although other factors, such as your income, length of employment, and years resided in your home are also considered.

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January 15, 2005

Get Your Spending Habits Under Control

If you’re trying to increase savings, remember that savings are directly tied to spending — the less you spend, the more you have to save. Some tips to consider to help get your spending under control include:

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October 12, 2004

Locking in Low Student Loan Rates - PLUS Loans & Stafford Loans

On July 1, 2004, interest rates on federal student loans dropped to record lows. From July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005, the interest rate for PLUS loans is 4.17% and for Stafford loans is 2.77% for students paying while in school and 3.37% for recent graduates. These rates are rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent when loans are consolidated. Now may be a good time to consolidate student loans to lock in these low rates.

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August 10, 2004

Do You Have a Spending Budget?

A budget serves as a road map for your spending,
helping you find ways to save more money for your financial goals.
Inefficient and wasted expenditures can be major impediments to
accomplishing your financial goals. For a one-month period, keep
track of every dollar you spend, whether by cash, check, or credit
card. Are you surprised by how much small expenditures add up
over a month?

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May 1, 2004

Don't Sabotage Your Financial Goals

One of the surest ways to sabotage your financial goals is to take on an excessive amount of debt. Unfortunately, it's not difficult to get yourself into that situation. Just consistently spend a little more than you make over a period of time and you will eventually find yourself overburdened with debt. At that point, with much of your discretionary income going to make debt payments, you will typically find you have little or nothing left over to save toward your financial goals. If debt is hampering your ability to work toward your financial goals, make some strict rules:

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April 1, 2003

The Pros and Cons of Prepaying Your Mortgage

When you use funds to prepay your mortgage, you are basically investing at your mortgage interest rate. The question is whether it is a better financial decision to pay off your mortgage or to invest in other alternatives. Consider these factors before deciding:

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