How to Get Started With Credit Repair

Credit Repair- Getting Started

There are all kinds of credit repair tips out there. The reality is that if you have bad credit, there tons of simple solutions. It’s very possible to improve your credit and even completely fix it in a very short time period.

How? Here are four most of the most effective strategies:

#1) Credit counselling

This will not only give you strategies for better money management, but the company will negotiate with the creditors on your behalf as well. In many instances they can reduce the amount you owe substantially.

Since they are very experienced in the industry, they have a much better chance of negotiating better terms for you than if you were to do it yourself.

#2) Look for mistakes on your credit report

One very simple and easy method to quickly improve your credit is to just scan your report. Anyone can get a copy of their report for free at least once every 12 months, so it doesn’t cost you a dime.

What if you find errors?

Then just call up the credit bureau and let them know. They will look into it. If they verify that indeed they made a mistake, they will erase it from your report.

This will instantly improve your credit score. And since mistakes are quite common, there’s a good chance of this working.

And don’t give up.

Even if they don’t remove something the first time, keep after them. It might take two to three months, but eventually you can get that erroneous late payment taken off.

#3) Pay on time

This is one of the simplest methods to raise your credit. It’s so obvious it might not seem worth mentioning, but it’s one of the most important tips of all.

What if you can’t pay on time?

If this isn’t possible because you have too much debt, attempt to get a consolidation loan. This might reduce the amount you owe, and it also makes it easier for you to pay them.

#4) Build up your investments

Instead of spending on things you don’t need, start putting a certain percentage of your money away every month for investing. This is easily one of the best methods to repair your credit.

But be wary of scams.

Remember, there are many firms that go after people with bad credit. They claim they are going to help them you raise your score. But often times they just take your money and disappear.

How do you spot those companies?

Basically, if they charge you a huge upfront fee, you know they are dishonest. Also, if they say to dispute everything on your credit report even if it’s right, it’s certain they are not legit.

By implementing these tips, one at a time, you can improve your overall credit rating and start reaping the benefits of having a high credit score.


Emergency Fund 101: How to Save Money for Unexpected Expenses

The Best Ways to Save $25 Per Week

How to Transform Your Money Mindset


Preparing Your Household Finances for a New Baby

A new baby on the way is always an exciting and celebratory time. However, a baby can also be a huge financial challenge, especially if you don’t take the appropriate steps to prepare yourself. Keep these tips in mind when preparing your finances for the new arrival.

New Baby Expenses

1. Medical bills. Find out in advance what medical bills you’re likely to incur. This would include prenatal, delivery, and postnatal expenses. Do you have insurance? How much will it pay? If you don’t have insurance and have low income, your state has programs that will minimize the expense.

* Plan ahead. Depending on your insurance situation, you may want to have additional funds set aside for unforeseen medical issues.

2. Baby items. Here we’re talking about things like car seats, strollers, changing tables, cribs, bottles, clothes, diapers (2,700 just the first year!), rocking chair, swing, dresser, baby monitor, and more. Go out to your local store and price these items.

* Are you going to breast-feed? You may need a breast pump if you plan on ever leaving the house without the baby. If you’re not breastfeeding, you’ll need bottles, nipples, and formula.

* Do you need daycare or a baby sitter? Call around to compare costs or ask a neighbor or friend what the going rate is for daycare in your area.

Lower Your Costs

1. Borrow and buy used. Babies outgrow things long before they wear them out. You shouldn’t have any problem finding quality used baby clothes, toys, and furniture. There are even stores that specialize in used baby items. You can also check on Craig’s List.

* These used items can be much less expensive than new stuff.

* When the time is right, tell everyone you know about your happy news. You’ll almost certainly be offered plenty of baby-related items.

2. Wait for gifts. People can go crazy giving gifts when a baby is involved. You never know what you’re going to get. Wait until the dust settles before you start making purchases. The gifts you receive can be a real financial boon. Be patient so you don’t get stuck with two of the same thing.

3. Remember that you don’t need everything. Your baby doesn’t require every gadget under the sun to be safe and happy. Ask the mothers you know what they consider to be the most important items.

4. Start saving now. You can never start saving too soon. Now is the time to eliminate all those things and services that you don’t really need. Sit down and look at your monthly bills and find ways you can cut back. Reduce your expenses as much as you need to so you can save enough money to be as comfortable as possible when the baby arrives.

5. Review your life insurance and will. Sit down with the appropriate expert to ensure you have the proper insurance coverage when the baby arrives. Also be certain that your will is up to date. A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Life Insurance (Money Matters)

Preparing for a new baby can be an exciting time. For the smoothest first year for you and your little one, remember to include financial preparations as well.

Smart Spending Strategies (More for Less Guides)


Investment Questions and Answers: Investing Safely and Smartly

Q: I recently received a call from an unfamiliar stock brokerage. The guy was offering some unbelievable interest rates I would earn if I were to investment some money there. He wasn’t representing one of the nationally known brokerage firms I’d ever heard of. I told him I’d have to think about it.

Then he said, “Why waste time? Invest your money now so you can start earning immediately!” I was still a little leery and politely declined again, stating I’d call him back in a day or two.

He then said, “You have to act now. The deal won’t be available after today. You’ve got to do it right now.” I eventually had to hang up on the guy because he just wouldn’t quit.

Do you think I missed a golden opportunity to earn big money? Did I make the wrong decision?

A: You did the right thing by declining to give the caller any cash.
I suspect you didn’t miss any “golden opportunity to earn big money.”

Although we don’t know for sure if it was a scam, all the signs are there. You didn’t know the person who called. He made a “cold call,” probably out of the phone book or off of some phone list he obtained.

The caller used high pressure tactics to try to coax you to invest your money. And he promised interest rates that were too good to be true. Then, when you declined more than once, he made one more last ditch effort to pressure you to invest by telling you the deal was now or never.

To avoid financial scams, it’s important to know the person who’s offering you an investment opportunity. Check out his credentials.

It’s wise to go with a well-known investment firm. These firms usually hire educated and experienced financial professionals.

Avoid investing any money with anyone who calls your home or knocks on your door without an invitation from you.

Plus, if someone’s pressuring you to put your money into an investment, that’s another clue it could be a scam. And if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Finally, although there are some legitimate investments that are time-limited, if that’s the case in conjunction with these others signs, it’s best to decline the offer. It’s wise to be cautious when considering investments in today’s financial environment to avoid scams.


What’s in Your Investment Portfolio?

April is Tax time, and with it, a great opportunity to think more about your finances, and in particular, your financial goals and investment portfolio.

Here is an example that might help you with planning your own portfolio:


Michael and Janice are a couple in their early thirties. They don’t have any children, nor do they plan on having any. While they’ve started saving and investing for retirement, they haven’t made a lot of progress to date. They currently invest 3% each in their respective 401(k)s. Their employers match contributions at 50 cents on the dollar, up to 6%. The Stuarts also have a few thousand dollars in savings bonds that Michael got from his grandmother. They make over $150,000 a year combined and have minimal debt.

They do, however, have a rather extravagant lifestyle. Janice is a major shopper, and while Michael doesn’t buy things frequently, he likes his expensive toys.

Clearly their priorities are not conducive to having a prosperous retirement. Their 401(k)s offer a great opportunity to amass a lot of wealth over the long haul, but they aren’t taking full advantage of it.

Everyone should make every effort to get the full match from his or her employer. It’s free money; no one in their right mind should leave free money on the table. You might think you are barely able to make it from paycheck to paycheck, but if it is tax free and taken out before you ever get your hands on your money, then you will hardly miss what you never saw, but it can add up to big dividends long term.

While savings bonds are better than nothing, they are a very poor choice for someone with a long-term time frame. This couple would be much better served with more growth-aggressive investments.

Appropriate stocks and some bonds for diversification would be more in line with their goals.

Their combined income is quite high, but it is largely being wasted on non-essentials and luxury items, as it often is when people are young and have no real financial goals yet.

Considering they don’t have children and minimal debt, saving 15+% of every paycheck should be easy for this couple. They would be well served to examine their spending and eliminate the excess.

This couple still has time before they retire; they certainly have every opportunity to turn things around to provide for a wonderful retirement and any other goals they might have, especially if they do not have any children.


April Financial Calendar

1-30 Financial Literacy Month. Established in the US to encourage people to educate themselves about all things financial, Financial Literacy Month is the time to learn more about budgeting and improving your money habits.
Do something this month to expand your knowledge of financial matters—attend a financial seminar or read a book about finances written by one of your favorite money gurus.

1 Are you ready to file your taxes? Ensure you have all the forms and records you need to do your income taxes so you can file by April 17.

6 Good Friday. Spend time with loved ones today.

7 United Nations’ World Health Day. This holiday commemorates the importance of the health of all peoples. Every year on this date, the UN releases its message in terms of current health priorities. Why not use this day to survey your current financial health? It’s time to ensure your budget is in shape.

8 Easter. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Look over your entire investment portfolio this evening to ensure you’ve diversified your “nest egg” to ensure the best results.

17 Income Taxes Due. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet and can’t do it today, file an extension today so that you have until October 15 to file them. If you owe money though, the money is still due, so if you don’t pay until October, you’ll owe interest and penalties as well.

22 Earth Day. Established to celebrate our “neighborhood,” this holiday reminds us to give pause and thanks for the earth. Why not renew your recycling and re-purposing efforts? You’ll save waste at the local landfill and get double-duty from more of your personal belongings. Recycle, re-purpose and save money! For more information, and great activities for the whole family, see: Earth Day and Every Day: A Beginner’s Guide to Green Activities and Recipes (Green Matters)

25 Administrative Professionals’ Day. This day is designated to honor all the administrative professionals who keep the offices going. Why not splurge this year and give the administrative professional(s) at your office a $25 savings bond?
30 Get ready for spring. Have you thought about having a garage sale to make some extra money? Do some spring cleaning and price items you’re ready to get rid of. Deposit the money you make into your savings account. Good job!


March Financial Calendar

1-31 National Nutrition Month. Spearheaded by the National Dietetic Association, National Nutrition Month was established to remind people to eat nutritionally and develop healthy exercise habits. During March, concentrate on your nutritional intake and level of physical activity. Your good health = more money in the bank.

1 The first quarter of the year ends the 31st of this month. Maybe it’s time to take a look at your earnings so far this year. Are you meeting your mark? Think creatively about what you can do to increase your income every quarter this year.
2 Read Across America Day/Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. Dr. Seuss books serve as encouragements to read for a lot of kids every year. Why not donate a large stack of Dr. Seuss books to a local nursery school, grade school or foster care program? You’ll feel so wonderful to know you’re giving the gift of reading to children, plus your donation is tax deductible, which means you’ll benefit, too at the end of the year!
11 Daylight Saving Time Begins. Although you’ll lose an hour when you set your clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m., ultimately you’ll save money by using less energy for lighting. After all, when Daylight Saving Time begins, you save daylight!
15 Business taxes are due today for many people who run their own business. This is also a good day to start gathering your paperwork for April 15th.
17 St. Patricks’ Day. Who doesn’t love to celebrate the patron saint, St. Patrick, of Ireland? Have fun with your friends and family and don’t forget to wear green. Speaking of the color green, put an extra $50 away this week in honor of St. Patrick.

20 First Day of Spring. With the amount of daylight and night-time nearly even today, you might say it’s a day of balance. Take a look at your stock portfolio to ensure it’s balanced in terms of growth stocks and stable CDs.
22 World Water Day. This day in March is designated by the United Nations to increase the world’s understanding of the importance of water to the lives of all people. Do you do everything you can to conserve water in your home and office? Take shorter showers and teach your kids to do the same. You’ll not only conserve water, you’ll also save on your water bills.
31 Review monthly grocery expenditures. Gather your grocery store cash register receipts for this month. How much did you spend for the month? Plan to reduce your monthly total by 10% next month.


Foreclosure: How to be more Pro-active to Save your Home

Stopping foreclosure might not always be possible, but if you do nothing at all, you will definitely not be able to stop it.

If it is the difference between keeping hope alive, and keeping your home, or just giving up and hiding, choose to be more pro-active if you think you are in danger of foreclosure.

There are many different things that you should consider when attempting to stop a foreclosure. First of all, remember that it has happened to many other people besides yourself. It does not make you stupid, or a bad person, it just means that you need help. You need a reality check, and you need a plan on how to deal with foreclosure.

If you are at least three months behind on your monthly mortgage payments then you are definitely at higher risk of losing your home and there probably will not be anything you can do if you choose to wait until then before ever attempting to be proactive in any way.

If some extra bills have come up and you are already thinking that you might possibly have to put off paying your monthly mortgage payment, go ahead and give the mortgage company a phone call. By taking action before something happens, just when you suspect that it may, you are being proactive.

People who end up in financial trouble for whatever reason who are on their toes are typically the ones that can and will prevent foreclosure on their home.

You must be assertive in trying to make arrangements with your mortgage company because if all you do is sit around and cry about being behind on those monthly payments, they are not ever going to want to speak with you about anything.

Trust me, as unbelievable as it may sound, the mortgage company truly does NOT want you to lose your home due to foreclosure. They really don’t want an empty house that they can’t sell, or will have to sell cheaply. They want regular monthly payments coming in, especially all the lovely interest you are paying them!

Maybe they should have possibly used better judgment whenever they were approving you for any type of mortgage loan and letting you purchase a home through their lending company. They are normally very willing to speak with you to try to work out some sort of solution.

There is no reason at all for you to just wait around for them to call. You can and should make the first move. That will look really responsible to them and they will absolutely take note of that responsible behavior and pro-active attitude,  and will more than likely allow you to tell them the entire story as to why you were late on your monthly mortgage payments.

Once you have discussed your difficult circumstances with them, and hopefully some sort of plan for what to do to make up the arrears, and how soon you think you can do this realistically,  story with them, chances are they will take your suggested payment plan seriously.

If you suggest you will get a second job, or your wife will go back to work part-time, or you show them a well-thought out household budget that you will stick to, then changes are they will be willing  to work out some type of payment arrangement with you, often right on the spot so you can avoid foreclosure.

It does not always work out, but being pro-active is going to get you much closer towards preventing foreclosure than just giving up.

Remember, whenever you are planning a budget, make sure you take care of the most important aspects first–housing, utilities, food, car if you really have no other means of getting to work and tending to your shopping and so on.

Everything else is OPTIONAL, including credit card payments. Can you get some wiggle room there? Get a lower APR on the cards you do have?

A good sound budget may mean tightening your belt for a number of months, but it is better to do whatever you can NOW to possibly stop foreclosure, so that you won’t lose all the equity you have in the home, and lose  everything you have worked so hard for throughout the years just because you have hit a bad patch.

For more information on foreclosure and what you can do to be more proactive about stopping foreclosure, visit: