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What to Do When Your Credit Card Interest Rate Increases

Written by Dian Herdiana on 10:01 AM

"I was just informed the interest rate on my credit card is jumping from 10% to 29%. I've never made a late payment. I called my bank and they told me it's because some of my other credit accounts were highly utilized."

That's exactly what happened to my friend Kyle recently.

Because he was close to his credit limits on unrelated accounts his bank legally jacked up his interest rate nearly 200%.

The practice is generally referred to as a "universal review." And more and more lenders are using this trick to fill their pockets at the expense of an unknowing public.

Kyle didn't have late payments with the credit card that raised his rates. In fact, he didn't have any late payments on any credit cards. However, his lender simply decided that because Kyle was using his other credit, he somehow became a greater credit risk to them—so they nearly tripled his interest rate.

This situation hasn't only happened to Kyle. You see, I have several friends that hold high positions within the banking industry. Here's a recent comment from one subscriber who works as a credit analyst for a major national bank. This information is so hush-hush he's asked us to keep his identity secret:

"...Everyday in my job as a credit analyst I see so many mistakes people make with their credit. You are right, most all lenders do a universal review, especially credit card companies. When we review a card member's credit bureau report (CBR) we are assessing risk to the bank and our goal is to reduce risk and exposure. When we find risk we either lower the credit line, increase the APR, or close the account. That is why account performance and utilization of revolving trades is so important..."

As you can see, Kyle's situation could have been worse. The lender could have closed the account or lowered his credit limit.

And the credit analyst went on to say...

"...A lot of times we are using old income information when making a decision. Usually, when we see something that doesn't fit the card member's profile, we will call to try and get updated information such as current income and reasons for recent delinquency on their credit reports or their account with us. If we can't get them on the phone the moment we call we have to make a decision with the information we have. And that information can be several years old. If the income we have on file is older than six months I can't use it and need to call. If I don't get the card member I have to make my decision right then—I can't wait as we review thousands of accounts a month. So it is in the card member's best interest to call the credit card company and give them updated income information and any explanation for delinquency or increased utilization."

So what do you do?

First of all, if this has not happened to you, I wouldn't get overly concerned just yet. Just be aware that nearly half of the credit card lenders do some sort of universal review and it's a growing trend. To be on the safe side, whenever your income increases you should call your credit card lenders and let them know—make sure they note it in your file.

If your credit card lender does conduct a universal review on you and you're negatively affected by their decision—here's what to do:

  • Contact your lender immediately and determine why the lender feels you're a greater credit risk...and then fix it, if it's fixable. It could be as simple as giving them updated income information.

  • If the lender's answers don't sit well with you, begin interviewing new lenders. Call and request credit card applications. To determine if a credit card lender uses universal review, do this: go to the disclosure form and find the headline "Other APRs," then look for the term "default rate." That should tell you what you need to know. And if you're comparing credit cards you already have, and cannot locate the original application you each lender and ask them for a copy of your application with your current account's terms and disclosures. You need to know your current terms, as they may not be the same as the original offer you received.

  • After you have compiled your list and found a lender that will give you acceptable terms and rates, contact your original lender and tell them you are considering closing the account.

  • Remember, before you begin this cat & mouse game, have a "Plan B" in place. Just make sure "Plan B" doesn't use the same or worse practices as your original lender.

    Just be aware of card tricks. Not all lenders use them (thank God), but be careful of the ones that do. Lenders have lowered the bar on their ethics. It's up to us to read the fine print and play their game.

    About Author

    Stephen Snyder is the founder of the After Bankruptcy Foundation a non-profit organization that provides free bankruptcy information and recovery steps. Stephen also writes a free weekly newsletter on bankruptcy recovery.


    Financial Freedom for Every Employee

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 1:32 AM

    By Stefanus Wahyudi

    You may think you have to be an entrepreneur to achieve your goal of financial freedom, but that is not necessarily true. While it is true that owning your own business is an excellent way to generate passive income, financial freedom is not entirely dependent on business ownership.

    As an employee, you probably already have some excellent savings and investment vehicles available to you. By using these opportunities wisely, just about any employee can achieve the goal of long-term financial freedom. Even if your employer does not offer a traditional pension plan, and very few firms do these days, chances are they offer a 401(k) or similar program to help their employees achieve financial freedom.

    Taking advantage of the retirement options available to you will help you generate what is known as passive income. Unlike the income gained from your job, passive income is money gained with little or no effort on your part. Think of it as your money working for you. You may be surprised at how quickly your passive income stream can grow through these investment vehicles.

    Individual retirement accounts are another excellent way to both save for retirement and generate excellent passive income once you have retired. Most employees are eligible for these types of programs, and even a little bit saved each year can grow to a significant sum over a number of years. The younger you are the more your investment can grow. Don’t overlook individual retirement accounts when you striking out on the road to financial freedom.

    Even if you are working for someone else, there is no reason you cannot be a business owner as well. Many part time home-based businesses require little effort on your part once they are up and running. Once your part time home based business is off the ground, it can generate excellent passive income with little intervention on your part. Checking out these types of opportunities is an important part of planning for your long-term financial freedom.

    Whether you use savings, investment, business ownership or a combination of all three to generate passive income, the most important step on the road to financial freedom is the first one. Planning for your financial future is the responsibility of every employee, from the lowest entry-level position to the big corner office. Financial freedom is within your grasp; you just need desire, perseverance and hard work.

    Stefanus Wahyudi has started his financial freedom journey since his college years. Now, he is encouraging many to do the same: start early! For more information about his business, you can access his system at:

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    Financial Freedom Services Or A Millstone Around Your Neck?

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 12:06 AM

    By Kevinor Moore

    Financial freedom services is a concept often peddled by many in the internet marketing industry as a lure to get folks into their downline. The suggestion or promise of financial freedom is sure to be attractive to most people who are struggling to make a decent standard of living for themselves and their families. Like most things in life the reality is far separated from the facts. There is no free lunch and no easy money. If you want to succeed in internet marketing or MLM you can but you will need to work hard.

    I apologize if that's not what you wanted to hear, but as far as I can see it is the truth of online business. So many people will offer the unsuspecting home business novice promises of financial freedom services and more free time. All supposedly without them having to put in little or no effort at all. This is in fact absolute and utter cack! To succeed on line or in any business venture takes hard work and a lot of it. Once you get your head around this concept and stop chasing the pot of gold at the end of the MLM rainbow things will start to take shape for you.

    Why else would I be sitting here on a Saturday morning typing this article amongst several others I will type today? Plus the 20 web pages I will build before I turn in tonight (or more likely tomorrow morning). Did I forget to mention the mailing list I will need to reply to as well? I tell you all this to impress upon you that if you truly wish to succeed then you will have to work and work hard. If you are afraid of hard work then MLM or internet marketing is not for you. Don't bother with the get rich schemes because you won't get rich quick or find financial freedom services either. The only people who will make any money out of that stuff are the guys peddling it.

    The best piece of advice I ever received was from a friend who was not even in business for himself or ever has been. He said "if it sounds too good to be true it most probably is". I have taken this on board since I started my own online business career and so far to date that advice as always proved correct. So stop chasing rainbows in your search for financial freedom services and knuckle down to some hard work. All the real help and advice you could ever need is out there on the internet. The amazing fact is that nearly all of it is free! You need only to sift through it sorting out the real advice from the cack and you will see what I say is correct. The bottom line is that success is easy but getting there is real hard work.

    The only other thing worth pointing out is that we all need a place to get started. The secret to this one is research. Do your homework first before you dive into anything. Research, research and then... Yep you guessed it, research some more. Remember most everything you will need to know about starting out on the road to your own financial freedom service can be found online for free.

    Kevin Moore owns and runs the your turn2earn web site. Your turn2earn is the number one online resource for MLM and online internet marketing links. To find out more about home business or online marketing just visit the web site at

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    Tap Into The Value Of Your Home And Take Your Dream To Fruition

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 5:24 AM

    By Grant Cliv

    Would you like to tap into the hidden value of your biggest asset and pay for the realization of a dream that you have been cherishing for a long time?

    If your answer to the above question is positive then you can unleash the equity lying unused in your home and see your dream coming into fruition. This can be made possible by secured loans for which you have to offer your home as collateral. You may be scared of using your home as collateral. In the event of failure to pay off the borrowed amount, you may have to hand over the possession of your home to the lender. But the flexibility with which these loans are offered and the benefits they bring along with them are really worth the risk you undertake.

    By offering security for the loan you eliminate the risk of the lender. He has the assurance, in the form of your home, to get back his money, even if you fail in your repayment. So he does not hesitate to offer the loan with terms and conditions that favour you. For an easy loan, it is necessary that it comes with low interest rate, long repayment period, and small repayment installments. Needless to say, secured loans are enriched with all these features. Being awarded with all these benefits you can easily pay off the loan and take your home out of risk.

    Secured loans are an ideal mean by which you can borrow a considerably big amount. If your need demands a large sum of money, it is a secured loan that can provide you with it. Generally, the loan amount is decided by the size of equity available in one's home. But if your credit score is high and you approach the right lender then you can borrow a loan amount that is bigger than the value of your home equity.

    The author is a business writer specializing in finance and credit products and has written authoritative articles on the finance industry. He has done his masters in Business Administration and is currently assisting E-Secured-Loans as a finance specialist.For more information visit us at

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    It's Time To Score Your Year

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 6:21 AM

    By Doreen Carter

    It's the season for giving thanks and a time of reflecting. The year is almost over. Take time now to look back? I know that there are accomplishments that you may not have given thanks for yet. So, I want to encourage you to do so now.

    Give thanks for the fact that you are reading this message. Give thanks for the fact that you still have a chance to fulfill your dreams.

    You may have been dreaming about what it would look like to own your own business. Or, you may be dreaming about what it would look like to be debt free and have financial abundance. Maybe you are dreaming about being healthy. Whatever you have been dreaming, I want to encourage you to put some action to your dream. Think about this, “You don’t have to get it right, just get it started.”

    The secret to realizing your dream is to first see it, feel it, and then say it. Once you can do that, it’s clear. Now you must right it down. So, as you are preparing for the remainder of the year and you are getting in gear for the next year, stop and take some time to reflect and get CLEAR about what it is you really want and desire. This is how you get a three dimensional holographic vision. It is the push that moves you into action.

    After you can do that, put the plan in motion. Start your financial plan with a credit review. Go to to obtain a copy of your report. You will then have to review your credit report. Then assess your income and your earning potential. Determine your desired income and think about how you can make that type of money. Get a mentor. Find someone who is doing what it is you want to do and study their lives. You can be, do, and have what ever you desire. Just believe. Take the time to dream. Then develop the plan. And, take action.

    I am passionately in love with you living the life you dream about. We have a boot camp that we started this year at the Wealth ... Wisdom Resource Group to empower people to financial freedom. Consider joining us or join some group that will help you keep moving until you reach your destiny.

    As always, share this message with your friends. Check us out if you are local. We are empowering people with the knowledge to free themselves. Visit and sign up for our free newsletter.

    Doreen Carter is the creator of the Who Mooved My Money?® wealth building system and finalist for the Innovative Concept in Business award for DeKalb county 2006 who teaches money management as a catalyst for creating and maintaining wealth. Learn how to increase your cash flow, live your dream, and manage your wealth. Sign up for the free Improving Your Credit Score and Wealth Building newsletter, absolutely FREE at

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    Mortgage Refinancing Tips to Help You Shop for the Best Home Mortgage Refinance Loan

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 10:34 AM

    By Louie Latour

    To make sure you get the best deal on your new home mortgage refinance loan it is important to comparison shop from a variety of mortgage companies. The Internet makes it quick and easy to comparison shop; however, there are a number of potential pitfalls to avoid. Here are several tips to help you comparison shop for the best loan when mortgage refinancing.

    Check Your Credit Before Mortgage Refinancing

    The first thing you should do before applying for mortgage refinancing is to review your credit records for errors. These credit reports are maintained by three separate companies and are extremely prone to mistakes. Having mistakes in your credit reports will significantly damage your FICO score and the interest rate you receive when mortgage refinancing. Don’t pay for a credit report unless you absolutely have to, the law requires each of these companies to provide you a free credit history once per year.

    Is Mortgage Refinancing Right For You?

    Mortgage refinancing has the potential to save you a lot of money if done correctly. Generally speaking, the longer you plan on keeping your home, the more sense it makes to refinance the loan. Because there are expenses involved with mortgage refinancing, a simple mortgage calculator can help you determine how long it will take to recoup your expenses.

    Comparison Shop for the Best Mortgage Company

    When comparison shopping for the best home mortgage refinance loan, request a copy of the Good Faith Estimate from each mortgage company you consider. The Good Faith Estimate allows you to do a line-by-line comparison of each home mortgage refinance loan. Most mortgage companies will give you a copy of the Good Faith Estimate simply by asking for it. Make sure you compare the origination fees, processing fee, and closing costs for each loan offer you consider.

    You can find more “Win Smart/Win Ugly” strategies for mortgage refinancing by registering for a free mortgage tutorial.

    To get your FREE six-part Mortgage Refinancing Video Tutorial, visit using the link below.

    Louie Latour specializes in showing homeowners how to avoid costly mortgage mistakes and predatory lenders. For a free copy of "Mortgage Refinancing - What You Need to Know," which teaches strategies to find the best mortgage and save thousands of dollars in the process, visit

    Claim your free mortgage refinancing tutorial today at:

    Mortgage Refinancing Tutorial

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    How You Can Find Financial Freedom and Become Debt Free

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 8:30 AM

    By Steve Faber

    Being debt free is a dream for some, reality for others. What separates those that live life without debt from those that just can’t seem to ever quite escape from debt hanging over their heads? To make matters even more perplexing for those that seem to be forever indebted, some of those that are able to leave debt behind actually seem to be able to make debt work for them. Those folks actually make debt profitable! What’s the secret? How can you not only overcome debt, but actually triumph to the extent that you’re using your debt to your advantage? What do those people who can turn debt on their heads know that you don’t?

    It’s pretty simple, really. There are only three ways that you can eliminate debt. Well, actually there are five, but two of them, bankruptcy and debt or credit counseling will have a negative impact on your credit rating, and you surely don’t want that. A little clarification is in order here. Bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for 10 years. Credit counseling can be a great choice for some people, however, you need to be extremely careful, because in recent years, there have been many disreputable credit counseling agencies attracted to the industry. Do your due diligence here, or you may find yourself out substantial money and still over a credit barrel.

    With most credit counseling programs all your credit accounts are closed and the payments are renegotiated by the agency. During the period you are actually participating in the debt repayment program, your credit rating will be a bit, shall we say, depressed. The good news is that, because you’ll have repaid all your debts at the end of the program, your credit should end up being really good in 3 to 4 years.

    What are the other three ways to eliminate your debt? Well, before we take a look there, you’ve got to take a big step. You absolutely, positively must correct your spending habits. If you’re deeply in debt due to circumstances beyond your control, such as divorce or medical problems, that’s different, but many people wind up deep in debt due to excessive spending, this brings us back to the three ways to eliminate debt. All debt elimination is a combination of these three things.

    1- Increase your income. It really doesn’t matter how you go about this, as long as it’s legal and ethical. You can get another job if you’ve got the time. You can start your own business. If you are an expert in a specific area, you might make a decent income doing part time consulting. You could jump into an online business. The possibilities here are really endless. It’s up to you.

    2- Reduce your expenses. If you’re unable to increase you income, you need to free up additional cash to repay your debts. In the absence of additional income, another option is to minimize your outgoing cash. There are countless ways you can accomplish this, many of which will minimally impact your lifestyle. You may have to cut back however, even if it turns out only to be a temporary situation.

    3- Increase your leverage. You need to make your money work harder. Leverage is using a small amount of an asset to control a larger one. Leverage is one of the two key principles in generating wealth (the other is compounding). For most people the best example of leverage is their residence. Using only a 3% - 20% down payment, they are able to take advantage of all the appreciation and tax benefits of their residential real estate. So, for example, when their humble abode they purchased for $150,000 appreciates to $300,000, they made a 100% profit, correct?

    Not so fast. Remember, they only invested maybe $15,000. So, to gain $150,000 in pretax profits (which are actually tax exempt if you’ve lived in the property as your primary residence for 2 of the last 5 years), you only invested $15,000. You actually received a 1,000% profit, to say nothing of the federal income tax deduction for mortgage interest. Any asset can be leveraged, weather it’s a business leveraging its’ employees time, or you leveraging your residence.

    The people that use their debt understand how to apply these three principles better than you do, for one thing. You need to understand them, and then do what ever you can in order to maximize them. There are thousands of strategies you can apply that will bring these principles to bear on your debt, and eventually you’ll be debt free too.

    Steve Faber has written about many topics including business, finance, electronics, and construction. He's been published in several magazines, both online and off. He has been a principal in a bricks and mortar business that grossed over $1.5 million annually, and been involved in several e-commerce ventures. See his blog at Find Financial Freedom for much more information, some commentary about finance, governement, and politics, and methods you can use to achieve your objectives.

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    Don't Trap Into A Credit Card Debt, It Too Costly!

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 12:13 AM

    By: Cornie Herring

    While swiping the credit card is a very effective way to pay without using any type of paper money, it has led many people into a debt trap.

    Majority of people simply look at whether or not they can afford their monthly repayment when using at their credit cards. Many of them don't even try to figure out how long it will take to pay them off and how much they are costing them over the long run.

    For instance, $2,000 doesn't seem like a huge balance on a credit card. In that case at an 18% interest rate, your payment is only around $40 a month. Sounds pretty affordable at the moment, doesn't it?

    Well, if you take a closer look at the number, approximately $30 of your payment goes towards interest. As a matter of fact only $10 is paid towards the $2,000 balance each month.

    In case if you are only paying the minimum balance each month, it will take you over 30 years to pay off that $2000. Thirty years, that is too long. In addition you will have paid back $5,000 in interest in that time. Therefore your $2,000 credit card bill will really cost you $7,000 including interest in the long run.

    The above payment does not include the extra payment incur in the case when you miss or delay your monthly repayment. In fact, many credit card companies are hoping you will miss your repayment so that they can charge you with extra interest and late payment fee and this would normally extend your payback period for the rest of your life.

    There are many credit card debt calculators available on internet and you can use these calculators to calculate how long it will take you to pay off your current credit cards by using the minimum payment method. You will normally be shocked. And it is worth for you to put effort in finding ways to reduce and pay off your credit card debt.

    If your credit card debts are reached to an unbearable stage; then, you may need to get service from a debt consolidation company to consolidate all your credit card debts. They are widely expert in dealing with creditors and help you to negotiate with your creditors for a better repayment plan. Follow the plan to pay off your credit card debts.

    Credit cards have successfully minimized the use of paper money and become one of the most convenient ways to make payments for a shopping spree or while traveling. Though, if not used with restraint they may soon lead to a huge mountain of debt which leads you to a tizzy of financial woes. In simple terms credit cards are a really costly form of credit. If you must have one, paying off the balance in full each month so that you will not trap into a credit card debt.

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    Find out with our Credit Card Debt Calculator on how long your payment will take to pay off your credit card balance. is an informational website on credit basics and debt consolidation.

    If I file for Bankruptcy will my student loans get discharged?

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 5:29 AM

    Dallas, tx

    So are student loans able to be discharged? In short, probably not. Student loan debts are non-dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases unless paying the debt would cause the debtor "undue hardship." This basic rule also applies to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases.

    Discharge of student loans received popularity in the 1970's. Many individuals would file for bankruptcy shortly after completing their expensive education. The goal was to discharge these student loans before they began earning money

    The wording of the exception of a "hardship discharge" and what is considered a student loan has recently been broadened so that most student loans made by nonprofit groups or the government are now considered student loans. This only applies to the actual student and not a co-signor. So a parent signing for one of their children could not have this debt discharged. In addition, this exception does not include debts to an educational institution for tuition. If the loan is non-dischargeable then the petition on the loan is also not going to be discharged.

    So we turn to "undue hardship." Most published court opinions agree that "undue hardship" means more than garden variety hardships that come with the costs of future payments. Several circuit courts of appeals have developed a three-prong test.

    In summation, the debtor cannot maintain a minimal standard of living and his dependents are left with the debt, some additional circumstances in regard to the standard of living would extend over the life of the repayment of the loan, and the debtor has tried to the best of their ability to pay off the loan according to the plan.

    The ideal debtor who will successfully discharge student loans are the low-income debtors. The debtor has the burden of proving their hardships. Any reason that makes this loan impossible for the debtor should be made known to your attorney. For example, unemployable debtors, underprivileged debtors, a total lack of available jobs suited for the debtor's skills, certain disabilities, etc. If any of these situations exist, your attorney will strive to prove any extenuating circumstances to the court to get these student loans discharged.Read more about bankruptcy at />

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    Rules that Guarantee Financial Independence

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 7:32 AM

    By Bill Lee

    If you want to win the lottery, you first must buy a ticket.

    This simple rule is no more simple than the rules for guaranteeing that you achieve financial independence; that is, if financial independence is important to you. My dad instilled in me that I should rely on no one -- certainly not the government -- if I wanted to live in my old age as well as I had lived when I was working.

    There was a time when many workers in my age group thought that we could depend on Social Security to fund our retirement, but today we all should realize that possibility is unrealistic.

    There is one simple rule for guaranteeing your FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE: Start Early. While it is relatively easy to secure your financial future when you start building your next egg while you’re in your twenties, it’s next to impossible if you wait until you’re in your fifties to start, but regardless of your age, begin immediately.

    You don’t have to be a financial genius to be financially independent; I am living proof of this fact. But you do have to develop the discipline to follow a few simple rules. I learned these rules from the very best and the very brightest. These rules are FREE. Follow them and your financial future is virtually guaranteed.

    1. The secret to financial independence is the understanding of the basic principle of COMPOUNDING OF WEALTH. If you don’t grasp this principle, you will most likely have to win the Powerball Lottery to be independently wealthy.

    The main key to financial success is forcing yourself to live on 80% to 90% (10% reserved for giving and 10% for investing) of your take-home income and invest each month the 10% that you didn’t spend.

    As an example, the stock market has increased at a compounded rate of approximately 11% per year over the last 100 years. So $1,000 invested in, say, 1963 (my first year in the work force) would have been worth $88,897 by 2006.

    Even if I had invested just $500 (10% of my take-home pay in 1963), that investment would have been worth $44,449 in 2006.

    Now, think about what you'd be worth if you invested $1,000 every year between your present age and 65 years of age. Wow! Becoming financially independent is really easy when you start early.

    Go to for a compounded calculator and do the math yourself.

    Could this principle be any clearer?

    Is this enough said about the power of compounding of wealth?

    Here are some more rules:

    2. Minimize your investments in assets that depreciate.

    Automobiles, as an example, are essential for most of us, but they are lousy investments. A new car or truck that costs you $25,000 will depreciate approximately $2,500 to $5,000 in the first year of ownership. Those of us who feel the need to drive prestige cars, i.e., a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc., will suffer $5,000 to $10,000 a year ($400 to $800 per month) in depreciation.

    If you can live with driving a pre-owned car, you’ll reduce both the investment itself and the portion of your investment that disappears via depreciation each month.

    Other examples of depreciable assets are furniture and clothes. No matter how much you pay for these two assets, they will be worth next to nothing after just a few days of use.

    3. Maximize your investment in assets that appreciate.

    Over the long haul, most investments in real estate, i.e., your home, stocks, bonds, etc., will grow in value. So if you can discipline yourself to maximize your investments in these kinds of investments and minimize your investments in “fluffy” kinds of assets, you’re much more likely to realize financial independence before it’s too late.

    4. Do your very best to pay cash and except for a first mortgage on your home, AVOID DEBT. This means paying off your credit cards each month, paying cash for furniture and automobiles, etc., to avoid unnecessary interest expense.

    5. Establish a personal spending budget and live within it. There is no better tool for controlling spending and living within your income than developing the discipline to live by a spending budget.

    When many people begin their business careers, and begin for the first time to generate some discretionary income, they go a little bit nuts. They spend everything they earn and then some. Perhaps the first sign of trouble is when they begin to generate credit card debt that they don’t have the income to pay off each month. So they begin making the minimum payment, paying exorbitant rates of interest and digging a deeper hole for themselves each month.

    The first step is to recognize what is happening, but the second step is to force yourself to plan your spending so that it doesn’t exceed your after-tax income. I believe strongly that a budget should include an expense category for both saving and giving. It has been my personal experience that individuals who can discipline themselves to save and tithe (give 10% of your income to the church or other charities) can manage other aspects of their financial lives equally well.

    Make sure you have an emergency fund equal to six months of salary as a contingency in the event you were to lose your job or have an equally major emergency.

    Hire a fee-based financial planner to assist you with your investments. I use Ron Blue & Company. Edward Jones is another investment firm that has an office in just about every community, large and small:

    THE key to successful investing is a broad-based portfolio. Don’t speculate. Don’t try to time the market. Stay invested even when things look bleak. If you miss those rare days when the market rises 300-to-500 points, your portfolio won’t grow at historical compounded rates. NO ONE can time the stock market.

    Make sure that you and your spouse are in agreement on an investment plan and the goals for your plan.

    Once you and your fee-based financial advisor agree on a plan, stay the course.

    Bill Lee is author of Gross Margin: 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line ($21.95) and 30 Ways Managers Shoot Themselves in the Foot ($21.95) Plus $6 S&H for the first book and $1 S&H for each additional book. To order, See Shopping Cart at

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    Money & Wealth - 5 Important Tips For Achieving Financial Security

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 8:32 AM

    By: Simon Heald

    With a high cost of living and a lot of things you want to have; what you earn from your job may not be enough for you. Every month, after paying your mortgage, credit cards and other monthly bills, there is little money left for your other needs.

    So, what can you do to change this situation? What are the key rules of personal finance management do you need to adhere to?

    1. Set some financial goals to achieve. Although it is hard to believe, there are a lot of people who have no financial targets or goals, in spite of being highly in debt. What do you want to achieve financially this month or this year? What are the key aspects about your financial situation that you would like to change? How much money do you want to have in your savings account by the end of the year? For you to set down effective goals, it is important that you first make a detailed assessment of your finances. You must know all your expenses versus your income. Decide on where you can save some money. Once you have set up your goals, follow them starting today, and stay on course. Review these goals as you go on, and adjust them as necessary. Set down specific, measurable and realistic goals. To motivate yourself while working towards your goals, visualize what you can get if you improve your finances - maybe a holiday, pay off your debt, a new car or pay off your mortga!ge.

    2. Be in control of your finances. This is a critical step if you want to be wealthy. In this world of consumerism, it is very easy for you to want more than what you can afford. These days, it is normal for a person to have 2 or 3 credit cards. Cut on all the unnecessary spending and be more vigilant with your savings. Avoid using your credit card - make an effort to live within what you earn; if you can not afford it, do not buy it. Do not buy on impulse and look for price discounts when you go shopping. Keep a monthly track of your spending, and always search for ways to cut down costs. Prioritize paying any debt that you are able to pay off. Interests on debt are very costly, and you can save some money by paying your debt off.

    3. Find ways to earn more money. A lot of people spend all their lives 'enslaved' to their jobs and wages, although what they earn from the job is not even enough to meet their needs. You can never become wealthy as a wage earner, fully dependant on your wages. How can you get out of this situation? Set aside some savings. Start a home based business using some of your savings. The idea is to use your money or savings to earn you more money. This is a sure path towards your financial security. Having your own home business is very popular these days. If you start the right and proven home business, then it can potentially earn you a lot of money in the long term. Be prepared to invest some money into your home business. If you can not start a home based business, then find ways of advancing your career so that you can earn more money. Besides earning more money, a home business can also help you achieve a better work - life balance in the future as you can be your own boss, ! earning money in the comfort of your own home.

    4. Seek help from professionals or experts if you need it. There are experts who are available if you need help to start working your way towards financial security. If you can not make a start towards cutting your costs, saving more money or starting a business idea that can help you achieve your financial security; then it is recommended that you seek help from the relevant professionals. You can get professional help to assist you improve your financial situation and earn more money.

    5. Have the right attitude! This is obvious, but a lot of people are not aware that in order to earn more money and to be wealthy, you need to have the right attitude and thoughts, which will then guide you towards your goals. Maintain a "positive" and "prosperous" attitude while seeking your financial freedom. If you believe that you will be wealthy and can earn a lot of money, then you will! Have a strong desire to improve your financial situation, and be committed to work towards your financial freedom.

    Anyone can be financially secure. Start by setting some goals to help you earn more money and become wealthy. Cut down on unnecessary expenditures, save some money, start your own business, seek help from the experts if you need it and have the right attitude. Follow these guidelines and become wealthy!

    Article Source:

    Visit my website here and see how you can start to earn multiple streams of income?

    Debt Consolidation Homeowners: Creating A Home Without Debts!

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 6:38 AM

    By Steve C Clark

    Fallen into the credit card trap? Have numerous debts? Having difficulty in meeting monthly payments? Then debt consolidation is the answer for you. Homeowners debt consolidation is exclusively meant for those who own a home. Debt consolidation for homeowner is a package with multiple benefits. Most importantly, it can help you get debt free that is what you are eyeing for as of now!

    Debt consolidation for homeowners is a secured loan. This implies that you will have to provide a security which will be in the form of your home. Being secured you will get the advantage of really low interest rates. In addition, terms and conditions are flexible. Debt consolidation homeowners easily accept bad credit circumstances. Even with CCJs, arrears, defaults, slow pays, bankruptcy, foreclosure homeowners can easily get debt consolidation.

    Okay, get this straight – debt consolidation means consolidating all your current debts into a single debt. Now you would think what is the benefit! Well first, of all debt consolidation homeowners will bring down the interest rates that you are currently paying. This is the basic idea behind opting for debt consolidation. Secondly, it makes repayment easier. Instead of handling multiple debts, you make single monthly payment for single debt. Thirdly, it puts an end to creditor harassment.

    Homeowners debt consolidation is a careful program which re organizes your debt, its interest rates and monthly payments so that you can actually repay debts. This means repayments are such that you face no difficulty in meeting your monthly financial goals. In addition to that your will get credit counseling and learn tools to remain debt free in the future. Debt consolidation homeowners works towards an all round development of your financial sense.

    Is debt consolidation good for you? This is the burning question for homeowners looking to consolidate debts. But are you actually seeking an answer. It is also seen that homeowners assume that if they have multiple debts then debt consolidation is the solution. But this may not be so. Debt consolidation is not for everyone. For homeowners who have more than two debts amounting to £5000 and above can easily opt for debt consolidation.

    Apply with debt consolidation homeowner carefully. Look for a reputable lender. And don’t go with the interest rates only, but look for terms and conditions also. Read the fine print carefully and only then apply.

    So want to improve your credit situation? Have the courage to say NO! The courage to say no to over spending, the courage to say no to more debts, the courage to say no to more credit cards. Investing in this basic fact can help you in getting beyond the debt issues. Not only that, it will help you learn the valuable lesson of being debt free in the future.

    Steve Clark can tell you how to look better, live better and breathe better by giving you tips to improve your finances.He writes on loans. His ideas can help you rejuvenate your money. To find Secured homeowner loans, bad credit homeowner loans, online homeowner loans visit

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    The Key to Debt Elimination

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 8:30 AM

    By Martin Lukac

    There's no secret to it -- if you want to eliminate debt, you are going to have to change your spending. The only true way to handle your debt successfully is to budget wisely. If you are looking to reduce your debt, you need to learn how to manage your finances and pay your debt off quickly.

    Start with realizing that everyone out there is pushing you to purchase more than you can afford. Society has led us to believe that you can spend now and pay later. But this comes at quite a cost.

    Your information is out there for every credit card company to review. They know your income, where you live, what you purchase and how much debt you have. They find this information from buying your credit report, looking at public documents and from the warranty cards you return.

    You are probably on a number of consumer lists. If you get phone calls and credit card offers by mail, you are a target. You need to avoid these temptations by immediately shredding any new credit card offers. Don't let telemarketers convince you that they can help with your problems.

    Credit, buy now and pay later, personal loans -- they all seem to protect your budget right now. Have an emergency? Use your credit to protect your budget. See, they are even targeting your desire to budget and manage your finances wisely.

    The only way you can truly fight your debt and all the temptation is to make a budget and plan wisely. Start by setting a few goals. You already know you want to get out of debt, but look at why? Are you looking to retire early, buy a home or simply have money left over at the end of the month? These are all wise goals to work towards.

    Work on finding a budget that truly works for your financial situation. Budgets are not one-size-fits-all. They have to be adapted to work with your spending and unique situations. Give it a few months to really work. And remember, it is okay to modify your budget. The key is to stick with it, not to give up when you fail the first month.

    Take it one step further and truly think about every purchase you make. It only takes a minute. Ask yourself if you need it, does it make sense or could you do without it. Realize what the purchase means to your goals. For example, spending $100 on your credit card could mean that you lose thousands in interest for your retirement.

    Leave the credit cards at home and work to create a repayment plan. Yes, you will have to work hard at this, but it is well worth it in the long run. All of the money you have right now should be going to paying off your debt. Make it a goal to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Then you can sit back and enjoy not having to make those payments each month.

    Martin Lukac, represents, an Internet consumer banking marketplace. is a destination site of personal finance, investing, taxes and mortgage rates. provides mortgage guides and financial rates and information. also operates a financial portal #1 American Financial, found at

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    How To Simplify Your Living Expenses

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 8:29 AM

    Authored By: A. Annika Smith

    Here's the thing: I'm a New Yorker. And in New York, it is amazingly difficult NOT to spend a lot of money, just on the basics! As a student of Harv Eker, I am trying to limit my expenses to 50% of my after-tax income, and I have to tell you, that is really hard to do. Harv isn't the only one to suggest this either: almost every money-management guru gives the same advice. Simplify your expenses.

    The fact is, if you want to become financially free, you must do two things: increase your passive income and decrease your expenses. Once your passive income is equal to or greater than your expenses, you are financially free. The concept is simple enough -- and in other articles I address creating passive income (the easiest and fastest way to do this would be by renting your rooms). But how do you simplify your expenses? Especially when you look around and you don't see a way HOW? Here are a variety of ways you can still live a decent life and be a bit more frugal at the same time.

    Food & Toiletries

    By far, making lunch at home was one of my biggest savings! I made lunch and snacks and bought them to work.

    Instead of buying shower gel, go back to soap bars. They last longer and are much cheaper.

    Don't wash your hair every day, and when you do wash your hair, only wash it once. That saves lots of shampoo.

    I made my own coffee at home -- or cut it out altogether and put that money aside in your financial freedom jar. One guru calls that the "latte factor."

    As a nation, we eat out a whole lot more and buy convenience foods to just heat in the microwave -- but these can be expensive. Cooking may take time, but it does save you lots of money.

    Buy generic! I was so opposed to this, and one day I ate some potato chips that my boyfriend bought. Seriously? They didn't taste different from the name brand. Try it. Ok, some things may be non-negotiable, but you'd be surprised what is. Your grocery bill will go way down.

    Take the effort to cut coupons, take advantage of sales, and go to discount warehouses, like Sam's Club or Costco.

    Heat & Electricity

    If you don't already have one, get an electric thermostat with a timer, so you can change the temperature automatically during specific times of the day. Lower the temperature when the family is out of the house.

    Use space heaters and lower the heat in the rooms you use. Use an electric blanket at night.

    There is plastic covering you can get at the hardware store and cover your windows. That keeps the heat in the house.

    Make sure your boiler and hot water heater are maintained properly.

    Wear layers of clothing and keep the heat lower.

    Use kitchen and bathroom vents sparingly in the winter

    Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescents

    Wash laundry in cold or warm instead of hot

    Use a clothesline instead of using the dryer

    Use a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner.

    Cell Phones, Internet, and Communication Utilities

    Avoid pre-paid cell phones, even if you just want the phone for emergencies, unless you are careful to use a plan with minutes that don't expire. You pay exorbitant rates per minute.

    Never underestimate the minutes your teen may use. Be careful not to get the lowest plan. Constant overages are very expensive overall.

    You don't necessarily need a home phone if you have a cell phone. With free nights, weekends and long distance, you may save considerably. Be careful with phone plans that have low rates, because the taxes add significantly to the bill.

    For your Internet connection, you don't have to get the highest rate of connection speed. For the average user, you won't be able to tell the difference and that can save you $20 a month.

    If you switch to broadband, don't keep your dialup (unless you travel often outside the country or in rural areas). Also, drop paying for AOL. All AOL features are free if you have broadband.


    If you really wanted to be extreme about it, you could cut entertainment out altogether. But that's not really practical, so here are some ideas.

    First, if you think FREE, you may not get free, but you do end up with "cheap." Cheap doesn't mean less fun, either. Sometimes you can have MORE fun.

    If you live in a city, just try walking around. In New York, I have found impromptu concerts by street musicians or just sat in the park and people watched. You'd be amazed how much fun you can have!

    Instead of eating out or going to bars with friends, host a potluck at home or just have friends over for drinks. It's much cheaper to buy liquor than to buy drinks at the bar.

    For movies, go to matinees or the $2 movie (some communities have them). Yes, those movies are second-run, but hey, it's worth financial freedom to me. You can also always rent movies.

    Cable. When times are tough, the cable needs to get going. It can get so expensive! If you do need it for the reception, get basic and then rent movies. Buying a great DVD player and renting movies is cheaper than cable in the long run. If you rent rooms in your home like I do, keep the cable -- it's a perk for your tenants that are worth paying for.

    Take your kids to the bookstore and hang out.

    Find free community shows, like Shakespeare in the park or fireworks.

    Take the kids on the subway trip -- as far as you can and go explore. In New York, take the train to Coney Island.

    In the summer, there is always a local food festival or street fair.

    Get your kids involved in a community group, like a theatre. They develop skills, make friends and have fun.


    For kids, don't go over the top with the brand names, especially since the kids will grow out of them quickly.

    For adults and older teens, don't buy really trendy clothes that will only last one season. Buy classical fashionable clothing that will last, and get trendy with accessories.

    Buy shirts and ties or blouses and just one suit -- accessorizing is cheaper.

    Buy a few pieces of quality clothing as opposed to lots of cheap clothing. They will last a lot longer.

    This goes without saying, but buy clothing in the off-season and on sale. You will save a tone of money.


    A gas saving tip I just learned: put your car in cruise control whenever you can. It has cut my gas bill in HALF.

    If you live in a metropolitan area, try walking around the city as opposed to taking a bus or a train. In New York, you can even get there faster sometimes! :-)

    Maintain your car -- tire pressure, oil changes, everything. Preventative maintenance is way cheaper than repairs.

    Never use cheap gas - use quality gas and the correct octane for your car. It may seem more expensive, but it's cheaper in car repairs in the long run.

    Don't be afraid to walk, even in the winter. It's great exercise and it saves a ton of money. Bring a backpack with you for grocery shopping if you need only a couple of things.

    The Change Jar

    I have a change jar. Every time I pay for something, I always use bills and get the change. I put the change in the jar. You wouldn't believe how much money you can save! This money could be entertainment money, allowance for the kids, put it in a savings account or saved for emergencies. This change jar has saved my butt many times over the years, and is a great way to have "found" money at the end of the month.

    Annika Smith is dedicated to teaching others how to be not only financially free, but also wealthy and happy. Want to be rich? It's easier than you think. Follow the exact path Annika took to massively improve her life by checking free information at

    Copyright © 2006. All Rights Reserved.
    You are free to distribute to anyone you wish as long as it is forwarded in its entirety and nothing is changed.

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    Get Control Of Your Money And How To Keep More Of It!

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 5:57 AM

    by Clare Evans
    Author's Home Page

    Do you find it hard to get by each month and your spending is either out of control or starting to head that way? If you're struggling with money then don't despair, you can get back on top. If you'd like to have more money each month or want to get control of your finances here are a few tips to help you get on top of things and start getting your spending back under control.

    When it comes to money we tend to fall into one of three main categories: spend less than we earn, spend what we earn, spend more than we earn.

    Create some good financial habits by taking a look at where you are now. Where would you like to be? Follow these tips to help you get there.

    - Keep a money diary for a week. It can be surprising where all the 'cash' goes. You probably don't really think about it on a daily basis. After all you probably just go to the bank when you need more and if you're lucky and your account is still in credit, you get what you request. But what exactly do you spend it on? Where does it all go?

    Keeping a money diary can help you get an idea of the flow of your cash out of your bank account. Whether it's cash, cheques, cards or just those monthly bills.

    Get a small notebook, carry it with you and write down every single thing you spend, as soon as you spend it, every day for the next week. Every bill, standing order, newspaper, snack, bus fare, coffee ...

    - Your monthly expenditure. Work out what you spend monthly on everything: rent/mortgage, utility bills, food and essentials, meals out, entertaining, clothes, holidays, presents, credit card repayments etc. etc.

    Gather together all your salary slips, receipts, bank statements, credit card statements, details of loan payments, mortgage, you money diary, etc... - anything which shows money coming in and money going out. Include any direct debits or standing orders from your bank accounts.

    Including the basics, compare your total outgoings with your income. Where's the fit? Are you overspending?

    - Create and Emergency Survival Fund. How much do you need to pay for the basics like mortgage, rent, insurance, bills, food and car each month? Aim to save at least three times your basic monthly outgoing that you need to survive.

    Should the worst happen and you lose your job, go sick for a period of time or decide to have a change of career, you will have a financial cushion to support you. Place it somewhere with easy access but with

    - Reduce Your Debts. How much is your debt actually costing you? Decide that today is the day you're going to take responsibility and you put yourself in a much better position to do something about it. What would you rather be spending that money on?

    How many debts do you have - loans, outstanding credit cards etc? What interest are you paying on them and over how long? How many payments are outstanding and how much will you end up paying in total?

    If you can create some spare income each month can you put it towards 'busting' some of your debt.

    - Save 10% of your income. Pay yourself first. As a minimum put aside at least 10% of your monthly salary. Set up an automatic payment straight out of your bank account into a savings account.

    Initially, place it somewhere with easy access, preferably earning the highest rate of interest available. Never under the mattress! You never know when you might need it and you're starting to invest in your future. The only way to get rich is to save and invest! Start thinking long-term for your savings - five years or more, not just saving for the next holiday.

    - Become a Savvy Buyer. Always take a little bit of time and effort to shop around for the best deals - don't just buy the first thing that comes along. How often do you check out the best deals available for insurance, mortgage, fuel, credit cards? Check out all the brokers and online insurance companies for the best quote.

    Use cost comparison sites such as or You can also save money by switching to a different energy supplier via sites such as

    - Get Sound Financial Advice. While you can discover a certain amount from newspapers, magazines and the Internet, it's always worth discussing your financial requirements with someone who knows what they're talking about.

    Talk to a Financial Advisor. They usually offer a variety of products from different companies. Find someone by recommendation or have an informal chat with one or two, to find someone you feel comfortable with.

    Make sure you are clear about what you want from your investments. Are you looking for growth, future security or an income? Your requirements may change over time.

    Use these tips and you're sure to get better control of your money.

    Article Source:

    About the Author
    Clare enables busy individuals and small business owners to organise their lives more effectively. Read more Time and Life Balance articles on her site

    Download a free extract of her ebook on her website

    Why Should Kids Get Allowances - The Top 7 Reasons

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 7:33 AM

    By Rachel Incoll

    The question of whether allowances are right or wrong, is one that has been argued for many generations. Now it’s your turn, as a parent, to decide whether or not an allowance is the best way to educate your child about financial responsibility. There are many reasons given on why a regular payment of money to a child should or shouldn’t be done – ultimately I believe there is no right answer, it is up to each individual family to decide what is the best option for them. Through many years of working with parents and educators, these are the top seven reasons I keep hearing on the question of why should kids get allowances.

    1. They learn to be wise with how they spend their money. It may help to teach them how to prioritise their spending, & learn from an early age what things are a waste of money. 2. They learn how to save money. Having a regular amount of money, may make it easier for them to establish good saving habits, as a certain percentage of the money from each payment can be placed into a savings account/piggy bank. Without an allowance, any money they receive, may simply be spent, with nothing going to savings. 3. They learn how to donate their money. A certain percentage of their money can also be allocated to donations to the needy, hopefully encouraging your child to be more thoughtful of others, & not greedy with their money.

    4. They will learn how to budget their money so it lasts between payments. Eventually, most children will learn to be careful how they spend what limited money they have, so they don’t run out of money. This will only happen, if the parent doesn’t give in to the initial whining for more money when the mistake is first made! 5. They can learn to make mistakes with small amounts of money. Kids will learn how to manage their finances responsibly far quicker through being allowed to make mistakes themselves (and suffering the consequences), rather than being told how they should be managing their money by someone else. Parents need to be there to guide their children on how they should spend their money, but not dictate (unless there could be serious consequences from their mistakes).

    6. They may stop nagging you for money. The idea is, if they are receiving a regular amount of money, and they have a good understanding of how to budget it then they will never run out of money, so won’t keep pestering you for more. Realistically, it will probably never put a complete end to the nagging for money, but it should reduce it.

    7. You may end up forking out less money. If you sit down, and add up how much money you give your child during the week & how much you spend on items for them (e.g. clothing), it may actually work out cheaper to give them an allowance, and make them responsible for a lot of their purchases.

    As I mentioned earlier, an allowance isn’t necessarily the best option for every family, but these are some of the reasons why many parents & educators believe an allowance is the only way to go. Some families though, may not have enough room in the family budget to provide their children with a regular payment, or may simply not believe in it for their own personal reasons. Either way you choose, I have seen with my own eyes, children from each side of the fence who have grown up to be exceptional money managers, and likewise children who seem to have no idea. Ultimately, it comes down to how much guidance a child receives from their parents/guardians on money – whether through an allowance or not.

    Rachel Incoll is the author of Kids Money Tips. She has helped show thousands of parents how they can teach their children everything they need to know about money in just a few simple steps. Visit her site to find out how your child can learn to save & manage their money more effectively with great, printable money charts, fun worksheets, play money and more.

    This is another great article from 1st Choice Article Directory. Visit us at for more quality free website content.

    Eliminate Your Credit Card Debt Forever - Without Stress

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 8:36 AM

    By Christopehr M Luck

    In recent years, the amount of credit card debt being carried by Americans has reached hundreds of billions of dollars, with interest payments each year that would sink the economies of many small nations. But you can eliminate your credit card debt forever, even if everyone around is stuck in an endless cycle of debt slavery. How? Read on, dear internet friend.

    STEP 1: CONSOLIDATE YOUR DEBT. If you have any more than one credit card with a debt due to be repaid, then you’re a candidate for credit card debt consolidation. The ‘minimum monthly’ payment each month includes many variable, including the interest rate, the minimum monthly base (usually around $25 per month of a few percent of the debt, whatever is higher), and any ‘fees’ you’ve been charged through the month for things such as using an ATM, writing a check on your card, or, if you deal with companies like MBNA, breathing. To consolidate that debt, simply go to your bank and ask them about a debt consolidation loan. The interest rate will be far lower than the 9% to 29% that credit card companies can charge, and the repayment schedule will be far clearer of the hidden extras (such as insurance) that credit card sharks will hit you with.

    STEP 2: CLEAN UP YOUR CREDIT HISTORY. Some people, many of us in fact, will let the occasional credit card payment slip by late, or even miss it all together, if things are a little tight each month. The problem with that is that it sits on your credit card report for the next seven years whenever you do that. So part of eliminating your credit card debt is to ensure that your credit score is clean and healthy. Some people will borrow a small amount from a bank and set up their account to automatically repay it each month, which will cost you not a lot in interest, but will make your credit report look much better in twelve months time. Others will just get ruthless with their repayments – pay a little bit extra than the minimum, pay it on time every time, and call the credit card company and ask them to REDUCE their spending limit whenever the debt goes down by a thousand dollars. The card companies don’t particularly like doing that, but they will, and it will help you get a better record when you’re not tempted to respend.

    STEP 3: IF YOU MUST MISS A PAYMENT – TELL THEM. Contrary to what you might think, missing a payment is not considered nearly as bad by a credit card organization if you just call them and let them know you’re running a bit tight this month. Most companies just want to know you’re not stiffing them, so will gladly waive a late payment fee, or even allow you to schedule part payments, just as long as you’re dealing with them in good faith. And part of eliminating your credit card debt is to deal with these people in the best faith possible.

    STEP 4: START USING CASH. It really isn’t that hard to use cash. Sure, you end up carrying money that you probably feel uncomfortable carting around, but is carting around a credit card with a $5,000 limit really that much safer?

    STEP 5: REPAY AS YOU SPEND. It’s not something that is advertised by credit card companies, but most of the time you only pay interest on what you owe when the company prints off your monthly statement. That means, if you spent $100 on the 1st of the month and put it on your Visa or Mastercard, and you paid that $100 back with a check to the card company on the 10th, and they send out your statement on the 20th – you have no debt, and thus, no interest. For those wanting to eliminate credit card debt, this is an incredible opportunity to get the convenience of a credit card, without paying any interest AT ALL. In fact, if you’re prompt with your payments, don’t spend on big ticket items that will take months to pay off, and you keep your balance down to next to nothing, you can save literally thousands of dollars every year. Remember – repay before statement day. It’s the best way to eliminate credit card debt before it even happens.

    About the Author: If you are interested in additional debt consolidation articles of mine, please feel free to visit my financing website.


    Monitoring Personal Finance

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 6:26 AM

    By: Sophia Nadal

    The majority of us are sticklers for finances at work, but often disregard our personal finance at home. For those who are not accountants, the process of keeping financial records and ensuring all financial items are squared away can be quite boring and often confusing. Instead of ignoring your personal finance until a problem arises, take the initiative today!

    One of the important determinants of the personal finance is credit. In the domain of finance the credit score holds the key to the success. In the absence of respectable credit score, you would not be able to borrow money or obtain a home loan or a vehicle loan. The importance of this number can be judged by the fact that if this number goes wrong then it has the ability of leaving your goals unfulfilled.

    Your credit number is directly associated with the credit that is currently in your name. Individuals who abuse credit cards and rack up high bills often have poor credit scores. Remember, it is not the amount your charge that can become detrimental to your credit, rather it is the amount you keep on your credit cards that can prove harmful. Use your credit cards wisely and carefully check your monthly statement. Once your statement has arrived, strive to pay off your outstanding bill in full each month.

    One of the major problems faced by the society is identity theft. In case someone steals your identity he has the capability to destroy your finances, ruin your credit as well as damage your name and reputation. There are certain measures that you can take to prevent such a case. These measures include, screening all your financial statements and protecting your personal information zealously.

    Most individuals put off saving towards retirement until a later date. Quite often, these individuals are often caught off guard by their rapidly approaching retirement date and the non-existent retirement fund. Instead of waiting until tomorrow, begin today. Take control of your personal finance situation and invest in a retirement fund immediately. Begin putting a portion of your income in this account in order to secure your future.

    Make a budget and stick to it. It is an excellent tool to cut down spending and control your finances. When you can see exactly what numbers go in the income and expenditure columns you can easily spot the problem areas. The only money you have to spend in the month is that which remains after taking out items such as a rent or mortgage payment, car payment, insurance, utilities, and food.

    In case you feel uncertain of how to go about settling your personal finances yourself then you can consider hiring an accountant. They will be able to tackle these problems as well as take care of any potential problems that they feel they can foresee.

    Although treading the financial domain at first might seem like an intimidating proposition, but it is nothing to be scared of. Venture forth and work towards rebuilding or smoothening your credit scores.

    Article Source:

    About the author: Sophia Nadal is the chief writer at Finance Central it's one of the webs most up to date Finance sites, why not sign up for the free Finance newsletter. Want to read more Finance articles?, just go to:
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    How You Can Use Rehab, Refinance and Cash Out as Long-Term Wealth Building Real Estate Investing

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 5:47 AM

    Author: David Neese

    Fixing up a property to rent out can have some hidden profit centers that can help you become financially independent in a hurry.

    Today we are discussing a somewhat advanced strategy for you to use after you have been in the creative real estate investing business for a while. I call this “Rehab, Refinance, and Cash Out”. This strategy can lead to true long term wealth and financial independence. This works very well in a buyers market like Memphis where prices have been quite flat for some time. You need to use this to augment your wholesaling for immediate income and retailing for bigger short term profits. Rehab, Refinance and Cash Out is a long term wealth building strategy and will be something you will be glad you did as it is a long term buy and hold strategy, and those are the strategies that lead to true wealth accumulation and financial independence.

    Let me explain how this works. You find a good middle to low end 3 bedroom home that you are able to buy from an out of state owner or other motivated seller that needs a little work and you buy at 60% of after repaired value. You buy the house using a hard money lender like and do your fix up and have a property management firm manage the property and put a renter in the house. The hard money lender will typically loan you up to 65% of the after repaired value to purchase the house which you use to buy the house and then repair it. Now that the home is repaired you obtain an investor friendly mortgage and cash out by refinancing at 80-90% of after repaired retail value and you should be doing this with properties where this strategy gives you back at least $10,000 at the refinance that you can use in your business any way you need. Do not use this money to live on, use it solely to grow your real estate business. Once you have done this strategy on 10 homes you should be able to keep finding better and better deals because you can close quickly as you have cash in hand to make things happen. More cash equals better deals and more opportunities.

    By the time you repeat this strategy 20 times you should have at least $200,000 cash plus about $200,000 equity and 20 homes giving you at least $2000 per month positive cash flow whether you decide to work this month or not since you have a property management company handling things for you. With average annual rent increases, within five years that $2,000 a month should grow to $4,000 a month. In 30 years you should have $2 to 3 million plus in paid off real estate. It’s a good solid long term strategy to add to your immediate selling from wholesaling, retailing and lease options that the extra $200,000 in cash will help grow tremendously.

    The rent minus the management fees and all loan and other costs must leave you with positive cash flow or this strategy should be avoided. If you cannot cash out on the property I don’t recommend holding it long term as you want to be able to use your best mortgages to cash out.

    You can purchase using if your Equifax credit score is above 550(which is bad credit) or you have a co-borrower who has an Equifax score over 550. A good investor friendly mortgage company will give you good rates if you are at 660 middle score or above and the very best rates if your middle score is 720 or above. Your first 10 investor mortgages in your name and 10 in your spouses name are the easiest to qualify and get the best deals. After those you really need a good investor mortgage company to work with. Take the time to find the real investor friendly mortgage companies that can help you get loans for 100 properties and not just the first ten and let them have the easy ones and the tougher ones. I do recommend having more than one good lender available though, but stick to the ones that specialize in investor loans. Find out from other investors who the most investor friendly mortgage companies are to use to refinance the repaired home.

    I do not advocate becoming a landlord as I do not believe this is a valuable usage of your time and energy. I highly recommend asking around and finding a good property management company that will charge you 10% or less to start out with and gradually lower that % as you add more and more properties.

    I feel this is an advanced strategy as you won’t see any cash in your pocket from this strategy for 4-6 months after you find the deal which is a long time to work and not see any pay. If you are wholesaling and making consistent money each month then it shouldn’t matter. This strategy will magnify the profits you make in your investing business in ways you might not have imagined. This strategy is a natural progression from wholesaling as you are already helping others find these kinds of deals, now you will be able to get the cash out typical of probably 2 wholesale deals, just paid slower, and at the same time building a nice future nest egg.
    About Author
    David Neese is a real estate investing author who offers a free course for real estate investors delivered by email, audio and teleseminar which you can get for free at: You can find more information about David at

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    Battle of the Cards: What to Look for When Applying For a Credit Card

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 9:39 AM

    By Mike Ziegler

    Getting a credit card nowadays has definitely become a necessity. With today's fast-paced life, shopping convenience is the ultimate time saver in everybody’s hectic schedule.

    With credit cards, you can many times go shopping without having to leave the comforts of your home. No wonder many people are trying to grab the opportunity of experiencing online shopping.

    The concept of using credit cards is so simple. It works with a swipe and the item is delivered to your door. Now people can buy anything they want without having to carry lots of cash.

    However, the problem lies in the way you choose your credit card. It does not matter whether you get a gold, platinum, or basic. It does not matter whether it has your picture embedded within the plastic. It doesn't even matter if it has your favorite NFL team logo on it.

    What matters most are the features that go with the card. Making wise decisions in choosing these features is vital to your credit rating and FICO score. As they say, a good credit card with reliable features will definitely work for you.

    Applying for a new credit card benefits you most when you consider the benefits of every feature in the fine print.

    What people do not know is that debt problems are often associated not in the on-going transactions that an individual has on his card, but with the terms of the offer written in the fine print.

    Not understanding the terms of the offer is the most common mistake people make when they apply for the credit card. They do not read the fine print. They think it is to time consuming or boring. They don't want to appear foolish because they do not understand the terms. They just automatically sign up, thinking that their future will improve by the way they use their credit cards.

    In order to know more on how to apply for the best credit card, here are some things that you have to do first:

    1. Do your homework

    Never be blinded by the credit card offers that come your way. It is business and money talks. So credit card manufacturers have to incorporate enticing credit card offers just to gain new customers.

    Without proper research, you will be easily seduced with such attractive offers. But the question remains whether these offers are founded on truth and established on reliable terms and conditions. Pay particular attention to the annual percentage rate (APR), penalty percentage rate if any, and late or annual fees. Make sure you understand when the credit card company considers a payment late.

    Doing your homework will not just make it appear all better. It is the one non-negotiable step in applying for a credit card.

    2. Evaluate your financial status

    Do you really need credit? In the United States, getting credit is vital. Your insurance rates, mortgage rates, car purchases, and even house rentals are dependent on your credit standing.

    Of course you need credit! But you should consider all financial options before you try to get a credit card. The problem with most people is that they thought that applying for a credit card would create an extension of their financial resources. What they do not realize is that credit is credit, and they need to have the money to pay for it.

    It is best if you build your credit standing systematically, based on your ability to pay the debts and on the necessity of the items you have purchased. Are they really that important? Keep in mind that when purchasing items on credit, it is better to buy the most needed items first.

    When applying for a credit card, do not be in a rush. Keep in mind that what you ultimately want here is not the card itself, but the credit history you are building. Hence, it is best if you take your time and study each credit card offer thoroughly. Then compare several of the better offers, and go for the best!

    Michael Ziegler is a sales person and website owner. He manages a website, where you can find the best credit card offer for your needs and apply for a credit card today!

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    Create A Saving's Plan For Financial Freedom

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 5:55 AM

    By: Joseph Kenny

    The first step in beginning financial security is creating a personal budget. In order to plan a personal budget you have to know how much you possess and how much you owe. On the asset side of your life how much money do you have in your wallet? How much savings do you have in the bank? Do you own your own home or do you rent or do you have a mortgage on it? Do you own your car or do you have a loan on it?

    These are all the initial items for consideration for building a personal budget. On the liability side you need to list the monthly car payment, the monthly rent or mortgage payment, utilities, charge accounts or credit card payments and other maintenance and upkeep expenses. You finished your basic homework now let's create a monthly personal budget.

    A personal monthly budget is used to estimate what you earn and what you pay. It gives you an alert if you can plan in advance what each month you will earn in salary, dividend earnings and it will allow you to determine how much you will owe.

    This is how I would set one up.

    At the top of the list place the following categories on the left side of the sheet, projected monthly income, actual monthly income and on the right side place the categories, projected balance, actual balance, and difference, these will be handled after you total your debts. Under projected monthly income list the following subcategories, income1, extra income, and total monthly income.

    Under the major category of actual monthly income list the following subcategories income1, extra income, and total monthly income. Beneath this header place the following categories, housing, transportation, insurance, food, entertainment, loans, taxes, savings or investments, gifts and donations and legal. Each of these categories will have projected cost, actual cost and difference columns added to each row within these major expense divisions. Each beginning of the month you must predict the next month's expenses, during the month as you pay those expenses enter that amount into the actual cost column. The end of the month you should enter the difference between the projected and actual cost into the difference column.

    You remember those categories on the right side, projected balance, actual monthly income and difference? They are calculated by subtracting the total expenses from each balance. The difference is obtained from subtracting the actual from the projected. At the bottom the totals of the projected costs, actual costs and difference of the two are given. The maintenance of the personal budget as well as the decipherment of the spending trends should provide you with an invaluable tool to speed you towards financial success.

    A personal budget set up in this manner can simplify the process of setting a certain amount of ones' salary or profits into a savings plan which is composed of simple interest savings, mutual fund investments for your retirement and a long range acquisition plan for real estate investment.

    Don’t Get Rushed Into Refinancing Your Home Loan!

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 6:35 AM

    There are many things you need to consider before making your mind about refinancing your mortgage loan or not. Basically you need to compare the terms of the outstanding mortgage with the new loan terms in order to see whether you will be benefiting from a refinance transaction or not and whether the advantages you might obtain are worth the trouble.

    What to Analyze When Considering a Refinance Loan

    The main terms you’ll need to watch closely when comparing your refinance home loan with your current mortgage loan are: Interest Rate, Length of the repayment program, Resulting Loan Installments, Cash-out amount (if applicable), prepayment clauses (penalty fees, prohibitions, etc.), Administrative Fees, Closing costs and other fees and costs.

    Make a table with all this information and compare the overall costs by adding each line in each column. You’ll be able to obtain the numbers from the loan contract and the refinance loan proposal or loan quote. Make sure to read the contracts thoroughly so you don’t let anything out of consideration.

    How To Compare Your Loans

    The interest rate has to be lower in order to benefit from refinancing. However, if the interest rate is higher or the same, this can be compensated by longer repayment programs or by a larger loan amount that will let you get cash out of your refinance loan. If none of the above is true, then the refinance loan won’t be to your advantage.

    The resulting loan installments need to be low enough so you can afford them and they must leave you enough space to undertake other expenses or deal with unexpected situations. So, you should only refinance for higher monthly payments if you are sure you’ll be able to afford them and if you can save money by doing so. This can be achieved due to a reduction on the interest rate or a cut on the repayment program.

    Deciding on a Refinance Loan

    Taking into consideration the above, plus any prepayment penalty fees, administrative fees, closings costs or other fees and costs, you can decide which refinance loan is right for you. You can search for online refinance loan lenders and request loan quotes and specific information on all of these factors. If after summing up all the variables you conclude that by refinancing you will save money or bring ease to your financial situation, then go ahead. Otherwise you may want to consider other financial products.

    The key to success in this kind of decisions is not to rush in and do a thorough research before applying. Once you’ve collected enough information, compared different loan quotes between them and with your outstanding mortgage loan terms, you will be able to make a conscious decision.

    Kate Ross is a professional consultant at Speedybadcreditloans with fifteen years in the financial field. She helps people in the process of securing personal loans, mortgage, refinance or consolidation loans and prevents consumers from falling into financial scams. Visit and get more articles and smart tips on this and other financial issues.

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    Mortgage Refinancing: Five Excellent Reasons to Get a New Mortgage

    Written by Dian Herdiana on 11:10 AM

    If you are on the fence about mortgage refinancing, there are a number of great reasons to refinance your mortgage regardless of what interest rates are doing. With mortgage refinancing you can reduce your monthly payment, lower your interest rate, and even cash out equity in your home for any reasons. Here is a list of five excellent reasons to help you decide if mortgage refinancing is right for you.

    I. Mortgage Refinancing to Reduce Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

    The most common reason homeowners have for mortgage refinancing is to lower their monthly mortgage payments. There are several different ways to accomplish this. If you plan on staying in your home for a long time, consider paying a point or two in order to buy down your mortgage interest rate. If your financial situation has improved since purchasing your home, you may qualify for a better interest rate without points. If you are unable to qualify for a lower rate, you can still lower your monthly mortgage payment by extending the term length of your mortgage loan. Mortgage loans typically come with a term length of thirty years; however, there are now forty and even fifty year mortgages to choose from.

    II. Mortgage Refinancing to Switch Your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

    If you purchased your home with a risky Adjustable Rate Mortgage and concerned with the risk of rising interest rates, refinancing to a fixed interest rate loan could give you the financial peace of mind you need. Fixed interest rate loans typically come with higher rates than adjustable rate mortgages; however, you can lower your payment amount with the new interest rate by extending the term length. A lower payment with a fixed interest rate mortgage will allow you to plan your monthly budget around the mortgage payment.

    III. Mortgage Refinancing to Avoid Balloon Payments

    Balloon mortgages are popular because they come with very low monthly payments; however, once the balloon payment is due you could be facing a financial hardship if you’re unable to pay. Refinancing to a fixed or adjustable rate with a long term length could match your current payment amount.

    IV. Mortgage Refinancing to Stop Paying Private Mortgage Insurance

    Many homeowners that purchase their homes with less than 20% down or borrow above a certain level of home equity are required to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance. Private Mortgage Insurance is expensive; the premiums can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly payment amount and does nothing else for you. Private Mortgage Insurance only protects the lender from losses if you default on the mortgage. Even if you have not build up sufficient equity in your home there are a number of mortgage refinancing programs to help you drop this costly insurance.

    V. Mortgage Refinancing to Borrow Against Your Home’s Equity

    Another popular reason for mortgage refinancing is to cash out equity in your home. This cash can be used for any reason: you can pay off credit cards, make repairs to your home, pay for college, even purchase a new car or take a vacation. With cash-back mortgage refinancing this is fast and easy. You even gain a tax deduction for the interest you pay when borrowing against your home equity.

    To learn more abut your mortgage refinancing options, including costly mistakes to avoid, register for a free mortgage tutorial.

    To get your free mortgage tutorial visit using the link below.

    Louie Latour specializes in showing homeowners how to avoid costly mortgage mistakes and predatory lenders. For a free copy of "Mortgage Refinancing - What You Need to Know," which teaches strategies to find the best mortgage and save thousands of dollars in the process, visit

    Claim your free mortgage refinance information guide today at:

    Mortgage Refinance Information

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