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Archive for August, 2009

Want To Save Tons Of Cash On Your Car Insurance?

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 31st, 2009 | Filed under: saving

Car insurance can be a costly expense for any person and, in many areas, adequate car insurance coverage is a mandatory part of driving a vehicle legally.  Prices can vary widely between people and car insurance companies because of the large number of different factors that go into the calculation of a car insurance rate, but there are some tips that everyone can use to save money on their car insurance.

Shop Around For The Best Price
Different car insurance companies can offer a wide range of car insurance rates to the same individual because of the numerous factors that go into the calculation of a car insurance rate.  Some car insurance companies include many of these factors into their rate calculations in order to give the policy holder a car insurance rate that is specifically tailored for them while some other car insurance companies calculate their car insurance rates based on a few factors that apply to a wide swath of the population.  Because these prices can vary so widely, you can save a significant amount of money by shopping around to see which car insurance company has the lowest rates for the policy you desire.

Choose Your Coverage Carefully
One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when choosing their car insurance policy is paying for coverage that they do not actually need.  For example, if a person drives an older car with body damage, they are probably paying more for collision and comprehensive coverage than they would ever receive on a claim.  If this coverage is not required for driving legally in your state, you can save as much as a third of the cost of your car insurance policy by dropping this coverage.

Increase Your Deductible
Lower deductibles result in a higher monthly premium price for your car insurance coverage.  If you are a safe driver and there is a low chance of you having to file a claim on your car insurance in the near future, raising your deductible can drop the cost of your car insurance premium by 15% or more.  To ensure that you will be able to cover this higher deductible, put the money aside in your bank account to make sure that you will not have to use your credit card if an accident occurs.

When Is The Last Time You Checked Your Credit Report?

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 30th, 2009 | Filed under: credit score

In today’s world of electronic transactions and instantaneous purchases, it is becoming more and more important for people to check their credit report on a regular basis.  Although it may seem like a hassle to take the time to obtain your credit report and review it thoroughly, checking your credit report regularly can be the best way to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.  There are a number of different benefits that can be realized if you check your credit report habitually and obtaining your credit report may be much easier than you think.

The Benefits Of Checking Your Credit Report

The biggest benefit of checking your credit report on a regular basis is being able to spot errors and fraudulent activity on your accounts quickly.  It is much easier to make corrections to your credit report when you catch the errors soon after they are initially submitted to the credit bureau and the longer the errors remain on the credit report without being corrected, the more proof you will need to remove the information from your credit report.  By checking your credit report twice per year, you will increase your chances of identifying mistaken information on your credit report and should be able to get the errors removed without much hassle.

Another benefit to checking your credit report is increasing your awareness of your financial situation.  By reviewing the information in your credit report on a consistent basis, you will be better able to identify trends that positively or negatively affect your credit score.  For example, you may see a trend that shows you use much more of your available credit percentage during certain times of the year, identifying a need to save more of your pay during these times to avoid accumulating credit card debt.

How To Get Your Credit Report

Each person is entitled to receive one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year.  These free credit reports can be obtained from by entering your personal information into an online form to verify your identity to the credit reporting bureaus that will be releasing the information.  This website is the only website where you are guaranteed to receive the free credit reports associated with the Federal program that calls for their issue.

If you would like to check your credit reports on a more frequent basis, you can always order a copy of your credit report directly from the credit reporting bureau and pay for it directly.  There are also a number of different programs that will give you access to your credit report for a nominal fee, which can vary greatly from company to company.  It is important to make sure that you are paying for access to your actual credit report and not a credit estimation evaluated by the website.  The only report that will give you the correct information about your financial situation is your personal credit report.

Options For Refinancing A Mortgage Loan With Bad Credit

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 28th, 2009 | Filed under: loans

Over the last year, the qualifications for obtaining a new loan or refinancing an existing loan has become much more restricted as banks and lenders carefully scrutinize every applicant to ensure that they are only making loans that the borrowers should be able to repay.  This has made refinancing an existing mortgage loan much more difficult for those homeowners that have less than perfect credit.  As more and more lenders reject the applications of individuals that would have been deemed credit worthy a year ago, many homeowners are finding that they are unable to refinance their home with the lenders that they have relied on in the past.  But, homeowners that have low credit scores may be able to refinance their home by examining several different options that may require more time and more money to accomplish the refinancing.

Review Your Credit History

The first step in any refinancing attempt is to find out what your credit score actually is.  By reviewing your credit history and credit score before searching for a lender, you will have a better understanding of your financial situation and will know what the lenders will see when they access your credit history.  This will also give you a general idea of the interest rate you can expect the lender to offer as a condition of refinancing the mortgage loan.  Every person is entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus annually and it is simple to fill out the form to get your free credit reports.

Refinancing With A Higher Interest Rate

If you need to refinance the mortgage loan quickly, due to a financial situation or some other type of emergency, then you may want to consider refinancing the mortgage with a higher interest rate.  Refinancing with a lender that is charging a higher interest rate for the mortgage loan will end up costing you a great deal of money over the life of the loan, often thousands of dollars, but if you have bad credit or a low credit score, this may be one of the very few ways to obtain the financing that you need.  If you choose to go this route, it is important to shop around with several different lenders to find which one will approve the refinancing of the mortgage loan with the lowest interest rate.

Attempting To Raise Your Credit Score

Some people with low credit scores try to raise their credit score as much as possible before they choose a lender and try to refinance their mortgage loan.  In many cases, late and missed payments cannot be erased from your credit history and will affect your credit score for several years, but you may be able to raise your credit score by paying down the balances of your existing credit accounts and closing new accounts that are unused or have been paid off.  By taking these steps, you may be able to raise your credit score enough to qualify for a lower interest rate when you refinance your mortgage.

What Kind Of Protection Does Credit Card Insurance Offer?

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 21st, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

Many people across the nation are having trouble deciding whether credit card insurance is worth the price paid for the peace of mind that comes with the coverage.  Using this type of insurance for fraud protection has become more common as cases of identity theft and scams have increased over the last decade.  In many cases, if you do not have the insurance, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to financial devastation at the hands of crooks and scam artists.

Signing Up For The Insurance

Obtaining credit card insurance for protection from fraudulent activities is not difficult and can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that if you become a victim of some sort of criminal activity involving your credit card, you will be covered.  The credit card company will ask the person to sign up for the service when the person applies for the credit card account.  Even if the person declines the coverage when they open the account, they can always add the insurance at a later date, although the rates may change in the meantime.  It is important to ask about the details of the coverage before deciding whether to sign up for the insurance to understand exactly what is being purchased and what is covered under the insurance policy.

Different Types Of Credit Card Insurance

There are several different types of credit card insurance that may be purchased from the insurance company in order to protect your credit rating or protect your account against fraud.  The type of insurance that is currently the most popular among consumers is insurance that protect you from charges if the credit card is used without your permission.  Many credit card companies have found this type of insurance to be so popular that they include it for no additional charge on many of their credit card products.

Another type of credit card insurance that is quickly gaining in popularity is the credit card life insurance policy.  This insurance policy pays the balance of the credit card in the event of the card holder’s death so that the debt does not become the responsibility of the cardholder’s family.  This type of insurance is very popular with people that have a high limit credit card, carry a balance from month to month, have dependent children, or have a spouse that is not employed.  Even though this type of credit card insurance does not offer much protection against fraud, it is often considered one of the best types of insurance offered by the credit card companies.

Choosing A Loan Consolidation Company Carefully

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 20th, 2009 | Filed under: consolidation

Many of the people that would like to find a way to complete a loan consolidation to reduce their debt quickly do not understand the importance of finding a good loan consolidation company.  There are thousands of loan consolidation companies across the nation and each one is charged with matching each person to the process that is best for their needs and their financial situation.  Finding a good loan consolidation company can be very important for being able to get out of debt and repair your credit for the future.

Understanding How The Loan Consolidation Process Works

The person representing the loan consolidation company is trained to explain different types of programs available from the company.  The person seeking loan consolidation should know about the different types of programs available and the requirements for each one before determining which program is the best for their needs.  The representative can answer any questions that the person may have and help them find the right type of program for their current financial situation. 

The loan consolidation company can also provide the person with the steps that are needed to complete the process and remain out of debt.  Most people do not apply for a loan consolidation frequently so they may not understand all of the terms that are used during the process.  Some programs have tons of requirements for the person to follow and will require the person to divulge a great deal of personal information to accurately judge the person’s ability to repay their debts.  The representative of the loan consolidation company will go over the paperwork and answer any questions about the loan consolidation requirements that the person may have after completing the application.

A good loan consolidation company will pride themselves on the relationship that they have with their clients and will do all that they can to retain a positive reputation.  A loan consolidation company knows that the loss of reputation in their targeted area may be something that the company will be unable to recover from.  No one wants to go to a loan consolidation company that may be cheating their customers or driving them deeper into debt.  For this reason, a loan consolidation company will do their best to provide their customers with the proper type of loan consolidation for their needs.

Save Time With Insurance Quotes On The Internet

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 19th, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

Insurance quotes on the internet have become very popular as people choose to use the internet for everyday activities.  Choosing to obtain insurance quotes from the internet can be a smart choice because conducting the search on the internet will save the person a great deal of time for their search.  Shopping for insurance online can be difficult for people that are not familiar with the way the internet works, but shopping for different insurance products online can be a hassle free way to obtain the insurance products that are needed.

Where To Find Insurance Quotes

Insurance quotes on the internet can be obtained from a number of different places.  One of the best places to receive an insurance quote is the website of a well known insurance company.  Nearly all major insurance companies will have an internet website promoting their products and will have an area where a person can obtain an insurance quote for the insurance products that they are looking for.

Going to the website of a well known insurance company to obtain an insurance quote is a good idea for a number of reasons.  Researching and obtaining insurance quotes from these websites reduces the possibility of being exposed to an insurance scam and ensures the person is dealing with a reputable company.  It will also ensure that the quote is based on average insurance premium rates, not a made up number created to persuade the person to sign up for their service.

There are also several websites available that will direct the person to a website that can provide quotes from multiple insurance companies so that people can search for the insurance products that they want from a central location on the internet.  These sites allow people to obtain insurance quotes from several different insurance companies for a particular insurance product by entering their personal information into a single online form.  This method allows the person to obtain information from a number of different insurance companies at the same time, saving them a great deal of time.  It also allows the person to view the premium prices for the insurance products that they want at the same time, allowing them to compare prices across a number of different insurance companies.

Beware Of Tax Scams!

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 16th, 2009 | Filed under: scams

A multitude of new commercials advertising companies that offer tax debt relief have been appearing on many television stations during all hours of the day.  These commercials claim that these companies will be able to dramatically reduce the amount of money that a person will have to pay to settle a state or federal tax debt, even if the debt is years old.  In many cases, the claims that are made in these commercials seem too to be true and people have good reasons to be wary of the promises made in these commercials.

Promises Of Access To Tax Professionals
Although there are thousands of professionals whose business is to advocate for lower tax bills on behalf of their clients, in many cases the “professionals” that are working for these companies have had brief training and very little experience in actually negotiating with the IRS for tax relief.  Instead of providing the legal and financial tools needed to lower the tax bill by any significant amount, these firms are attempting to secure an Offer In Compromise (OIC) which is a settlement agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS for accounts that the IRS agents believe may be uncollectible any other way.  The IRS issuing an OIC for a tax debt is a long shot for most taxpayers.

Promises Of Settling For Pennies On The Dollar
Many of the commercials for tax debt relief that appear on television show individuals that had thousands of dollars in tax debt but settled their accounts for little or nothing at all.  In reality, this is extremely unlikely.  If the IRS determines that you have the means to pay the amount of your tax debt, they will use every means at their disposal to collect the entire amount of the debt.  This can include liens against your property, wage garnishment, and other actions to collect the money before it ever enters your hands.  The IRS can afford to wait to collect the entire amount of the tax debt and will often choose that collecting the entire amount over a number of years will be more beneficial than settling for a lower amount today.

Claims Of Effectiveness
Many of these commercials claim that the tax professionals at these companies can succeed where others have failed and get you the results that you desire.  These companies charge upfront fees of hundred or thousands of dollars for the employees of the company to take a look at your tax debt situation and often charge more fees for the work that they are claiming to perform on your behalf.  In most cases, the only way that the IRS is going to reduce your tax debt is if there is no possibility of you being able to repay the full amount of your tax debt anytime in the future.  Hiring a tax professional from one of these companies for hundreds of dollars is not a good way to prove to the IRS that you do not have enough money to pay your tax debt.

Need A Credit Card? Here’s How To Get The Right One For You

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 15th, 2009 | Filed under: credit cards

Obtaining a credit card these days is not very difficult for most people.  There are dozens of different credit card companies that are willing to extend credit to anyone and everyone that applies for their cards.  The trick is to make sure that you get the best credit card for your needs, which can be a much harder undertaking.  By following a few simple tips, you can make sure that you get the credit card with the lowest interest rate and the highest credit limit available to you.

Shop Around For Different Credit Card Products
The biggest mistake that most people make when searching for a credit card is assuming that all credit cards have similar features.  In reality, there are almost as many different types of credit card features as there are companies selling the credit cards.  By reviewing the features of several different types of cards and comparing these features from company to company, you will have a much better chance of obtaining a credit card that has all of the features that you desire.

Review The Fees Associated With The Credit Card
Different types of credit cards from different credit card companies will have different fees associated with their usage.  The fees can be associated with the way that the credit card is used or could be general fees for just taking possession of the credit card.  Some credit card companies charge multiple fees to the credit card before they send the credit card to you, often depleting the initial credit limit by 50% or more.  If you do not have a low credit score that limits the available options, you will be best served by choosing a credit card that has little or no additional fees associated with using the credit card.

Try To Find The Lowest Interest Rate
Finding a credit card with a low interest rate has gotten harder over the past few years as many credit card companies stopped disclosing the interest rate that they will give you for choosing their credit card products.  Instead, these credit card companies will assign an interest rate range to each of their credit cards and will tell applicants that the interest rate for the credit card will be “up to” a certain percentage of the balance on the card.  Although the person may qualify for a lower interest rate than what is disclosed in the credit card application, this information can be difficult to find without calling a representative of the credit card company and asking them directly about the interest rate that you will qualify for.

There are so many different types of credit cards available that it can be very difficult for a person to choose the best one for their needs.  By taking the time to carefully review the information of several different types of credit cards, you will have the best chance of getting the right credit card for you.

Are Your Food Purchases Breaking Your Budget?

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 13th, 2009 | Filed under: saving

One of the most important purchases we make is the food that we buy for ourselves and our families.  As food prices has risen over the last decade, families are finding that food purchases are consuming more and more of their monthly budget.  By changing some ingrained habits and making smarter choices, you can reduce the amount of money that is spent on food each month by 30% or more.

Cook Your Meals At Home
One of the most significant money wasters for most people is the money that they spend in restaurants each month.  Even though ordering food from a restaurant may be exceedingly convenient for people on the go, the price of the meal can be more than 300% higher than it would have cost the person to create the same meal in their own kitchen.  Even fast food can cost more than twice as much as purchasing the raw materials at the grocery store and creating the items yourself.  If you do not have a great deal of experience cooking, look for beginner cookbooks at your local bookstore or find simple recipes online.

Fight Impulse Purchases At The Grocery Store
Grocery stores spend massive amounts of money each year hiring consultants to show them the best way to get you to put items that you see in the store into your shopping cart, whether you need the items or not.  $10 in impulse purchases per week will add up to an additional $520 spent at the grocery store each year.  To avoid making impulse purchases at the grocery store, make a list of the items that you need before you head to the store and stick to this list once you have entered the store.

Take Your Lunch To Work
Packing your lunch each morning to take with you to work can cut the amount of money that you spend on weekday lunches by a significant amount.  The typical fast food meal with sandwich, side, and drink will cost around $6 per day while bringing a sandwich, side, and drink from home will cost about $2 per day, resulting in a savings of $20 per week or nearly $1000 per year.

Choose Generics Or Store Brands Over Name Brands
When you purchase name brand items at the grocery store, often you are paying more for the name than for the quality.  In fact, in many cases there is no difference in quality between the name brand and the store brand items in the grocery store because they are manufactured according to the same federal guidelines and regulations.  The generic and store brand items are often 25% to 40% less than their name brand counterparts, resulting in substantial savings over the course of the year.

Vacation For Less With These Simple Tips

Written by Toi Williams on Aug 11th, 2009 | Filed under: saving

Need a vacation but don’t have much cash?  There are many different ways that you can take a wonderful and relaxing vacation without spending a great deal of money.  Many people have been conditioned to believe that the more they spend on their vacation, the more fun they will have, but it is possible to take a vacation that is inexpensive as well as entertaining.

Avoid Peak Seasons
Some vacation locations consider certain times of the year to be their peak season, the time of year when high numbers of tourists visit the area.  Prices are generally higher during the peak season because there are many people willing to pay the higher price to be in that location at that time.  Choosing to vacation in a location during the off season could save you 50% off of the price of hotel rooms, flights, and area attractions.

Travel Locally
There are often many places within the person’s own state that would make great vacation locations that the person has never heard of.  Local vineyards, natural areas, and bed and breakfasts provide many of the same attractions and comforts that are found in many tourist areas, but at a fraction of the price.  By traveling locally and driving to your destination, you also avoid having to pay for airfare and high car rental fees.  This can save you 30% or more off of the cost of your vacation.

Choose Accommodations That Have A Kitchen
Eating your meals out during your vacation contributes substantially to the cost of the vacation and leaves you with less money for area attractions and souvenirs.  Choosing a room that includes a kitchen may cost you a few extra dollars a day on the room rate, but that cost will be more than made up with the savings you will realize by not eating in restaurants for every meal.  For a family of four, having a kitchen available for cooking meals can save more than $100 per day for the duration of the vacation.

Be Flexible With Your Vacation Dates
The highest rates for airfare and hotel rooms are generally applied to reservations that start or end during the weekend.  The price of a Friday departure on an airline can be 50% higher or more than the price of a departure that occurs during the middle of the week.  If it is possible to start and end your vacation during a week day, you should be able to find significantly cheaper rates than the person that has to leave and return during the weekend days.