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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Credit Repair For A Better Life

By Mike Carbeck

Repairing your credit is never an easy thing. But, there are several things you can do to get yourself out of debt.

We all have monthly bills, and sometimes we encounter times when the bills are outrageous. We are all responsible for paying our bills, this is a reality from which there is no escape. If you find yourself in need of help, there are ways to pay your bills and get out of debt.

The ever changing credit laws make it especially difficult for people to restore their credit to good standing. There are also laws that make getting copies of all three of your credit reports free. If you have discrepancies in your credit report, then it is imperative that you get copies of your report and launch a dispute.

If the agencies filed a false claim against your credit record, you may be able to sue. This can result in late processing of your payments and if you do not owe the bill, the credit agency will be forced to remove it from your record.

If you notice any errors or inconsistencies in your credit report it is important that you contact the reporting agency at once. Experion, TransUnion and Equifax all have dispute hotlines set up for just this purpose.

Disputing things on your credit report is just the first step in getting back on track. The information on your credit report comes from various sources and as a general rule this stays with your credit record for up to seven years. While positive credit reporting information is likely to remain for up to ten years.

If you have any questionable information contained on your report then it is important you dispute it immediately. The credit bureau will investigate the situation and if it finds valid grounds for dismissal, then the information is removed from your record. If the situation cannot be resolved, then the credit agency can remove or modify the claim in question.

This is another reason why it is so important to monitor your credit report regularly. In addition you can get information about your credit rating and what factors determine or effect it. If you see information that you dispute on your credit report and you can not find a resolution, then it pays for you to get educated on what you can do.

Never believe the misleading or false advertising of a credit counseling agency that make claims that sound to good to be true. All of these companies are regulated by law and it is illegal for them to promise something they cannot deliver.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a great resource for people seeking genuine assistance with their debts. They have representatives that are highly trained at providing consumers with help repairing credit and removing debt. They can also help you get creditors to back off and stop the threats.

It is very important that you know your rights and the laws surrounding credit card debt collection practices. While rebuilding your bad credit can seem difficult, it is not impossible to get out of debt with the right help. Remember that there are millions of people in the world just like you, they have experienced credit issues or problems at one time or another.

The Consumer Response Center is another invaluable resource for finding out information about your rights. Some victims have more rights than others. Victims of Identity Theft or Military Personnel who have been robbed of their identity, have many more rights than someone who is just delinquent in paying their bills.

Knowing what your rights are is the first step in getting back on the road to good credit and regaining financial freedom.

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Home Buddies Quarterly Economic Report - Part 3 - Opportunities

By Cliff Pape

We studied the macroeconomic factors effecting the US in first two parts of the Quarterly Economic Report. This week, we will look into the future and give an outlook on the real estate and mortgage markets of 2009. Last, we are going to propose some opportunities that every investor should recognize in this stage of the surprisingly predictable real estate cycle.

Credit and Financial Markets

At the end 2008, probably the biggest news is the determination of the Treasury and the Fed to try to push mortgage rate lower. Six hundred billion dollars of Fannie and Freddie mortgage-backed securities and unsecured debt are to be purchased by the Fed according to their November 25th announcement.

The sole reason the Fed did this was to lower debt cost (i.e. make it cheaper to obtain a mortgage). They are attempting to kill two birds with one stone by making mortgages cheaper in hopes of enticing potential single family home buyers with credit to come off of the sidelines and purchase.

Furthermore, if home buyers jump into the real estate market, this will further stabilize home values which will help the banks' balance sheets. All of this bodes well for mortgage brokers and loan officers because the ultimate goal of the government is to get mortgage lenders to loosen credit and they have committed to do it. At some point during 2009 mortgage lending should begin to pick up. Expect a refinance boom when the mess clears up.

Real Estate Markets

There are a few things to keep an eye on in Houston. If housing permits continue to contract, it could be a while before the national residential real estate scene improves. Several markets such as Houston are still bucking the national trend, but, even in these markets, permits are beginning to contract which is pointing toward a slow-down as we head into 2009.

If unemployment figures creep up in Houston next year then that may be a sign that Houston may not escape the US and global economic turmoil with just a small hiccup.

Opportunities for Investors

With all the "fear" that is surrounding the mortgage and real estate markets, there has never been a better time to buy single family residential homes. Consumer concern over the financial crisis is causing real estate prices in stable markets, such as Houston, to fall under what the market fundamentals in Houston would otherwise warrant.

With credit standards like they are right now, many investors (and most retail buyers) are out of the game because they are not able to get financing for single family homes. So now is a window of opportunity for smart investors with good credit to buy up undervalued investment properies in Houston.

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Personalized Check Designs

By Mary Stewart

Comparative choices for choosing personalized check designs are readily available on the web. Established check printer manufactures have the opportunity to showcase their extensive selection and market inexpensively to the public. Ordering direct gets the purchaser a price break not found at their financial institution.

There?s a wide diversity of choice when it comes to categories available when choosing a particular check design. American wonders, sports checks, ethnic, flowers and nature, seasonal, transportation themed, animals and wildlife, religious and joyful heart themed plus a boatload of other choices

There are even more choices from temple themes, roller coasters, castles, buildings, educational, watercolors, plain checks, geometric patterns, cartoon designs and career motifs. The list explores an exhaustive and diverse scope of artistic check designs that have a category of interest to fit almost anyone.

The go-green movement has caught on in the printing world with many manufacturers offering recycled and 100% soy-based inks as earth friendly alternatives. This is a winning choice for shoppers and the environment.

For many of the specialty check printer manufacturers, all check designs are printed with soy-based ink on recycled 24lb. MICR bond paper. As a check travels through the check clearing system, it passes through machines called reader/sorters that sends a magnetic charge to the check which allows it to read the information contained within the MICR line very quickly. The Federal Reserve and all banks require that checks be printed with MICR toner for ease of processing and soy-based ink is often the friendly choice. Now that's a plus for the environment.

According to Wikipedia, soybean based ink is overwhelmingly more environmentally friendly. Degradability studies conducted by Erhan and Bagby concluded that the pigment cartier in 100-percent soy ink degrades almost twice as completely as ink made from soy oil and petroleum resins, and more than four times as completely as standard petroleum inks.

The large recycling programs recover and recycle materials that are equal in quality to virgin new fiber. Recyclers contribute the material that perpetuates the process and contributes a resource of equal quality and competitive price.

Ordering direct from the check manufacturer gets you faster ordering and shipping. Also you'll generally save about 50% compared to what a financial institution would charge. Complimentary address labels, contact cards and checkbook covers are also offered.

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How to Raise Credit Score in 30 days or less

By Marcus Duke

Today you'll find that your credit score is very important. In fact, without a great credit score, purchasing a home, getting a credit card, buying a car be extremely difficult.

For people with low credit scores all is not loss, you may be able to raise your credit scores.

So, here are several important tips that can help you to raise your credit score back up so you can have an easier time:

Tip #1- Always Pay on Time - The first thing you need to do if you want to know how to raise credit score is to always make sure that you pay on time.

When your payments are overdue or late your credit score can suffer greatly. Paying your bills on time is good practice. This one step alone can change your credit score in a positive way.

Tip #2 - Get Current on Missed Payments - If you have missed payments in the past, make sure that you get current on them as soon as you can.

Late payment can have a negative effect on your credit report and in some cases can even lower your score even further. When your bills are paid on time your credit report will reflect this.

2. If you have outstanding bills it's a good idea to contact the companies and make arrangements to make these bills current.

Many times they will be willing to work with you so you can work on raising your score and settling your debt in a way that makes it a little easier on your financially.

Tip #4 - Keep Balances on Credit Cards Low - If you have credit cards, then you need to keep the balances on them low.

The higher your debt is compared to the credit available, the lower your credit score is going to be. So, keep the balance on those credit cards as low as possible.

Most companies have programs in place for situations like this. And you may be requires to only send in less than was agreed upon originally.

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Identity Theft Protection: Easily Protect Your Good Name

By Harvey Warmuth

With over 79 million cases of identity theft in the last year, it is one of the most rapid growing crimes in the US. Identity theft costs consumers billions of dollars each year, and is very expensive to the individual that becomes a victim of this crime.

Identity theft is often looked at as an individual's problem, though it ultimately affects each and every one of us. We all suffer when identity theft occurs. Identity theft is a type of consumer fraud that occurs when someone steals or assumes another person's identity for the purpose of financial gain, ultimately through some sort of criminal activity.

Identity theft happens when someone uses another person's sensitive personal data for an illegal purpose. This includes the use of Social Security Numbers, or credit card numbers, without permission to get some sort of financial gain.

Identity theft is a relatively new problem, and there are many ways one can fall prey to this crime. If you are not careful with how you handle sensitive personal data, it can be used to aid someone in stealing your identity. And if you are not careful with your online activities, including emails that you open and read, criminals can gain access to your banking, and other personal information, to commit identity theft.

There are companies that offer identity protection solutions which compliment the steps that you should be personally taking to secure your identity. Due to the fact that the crime of identity theft is on the rise, you need to take some serious measures in the fight against identity theft. One of the best steps to take is to make use of one of these identity theft services.

The biggest step you can take when it comes to identity theft protection is to put a fraud alert on your credit reports. This is something that you can do yourself, or you can use the services of an identity theft protection company to do this for you. The latter choice is a great one for convenience sake, as you will need to renew the fraud alert every 90 days, so sometimes it is best to have a service do this for you.

Identity theft protection is becoming more and more important, as identity theft itself becomes a bigger and bigger issue. Identity theft protection services are rapidly becoming the number one way to protect yourself against identity theft.

An identity theft protection solution not only guards against identity theft, but will help you recover if you do become a victim of identity theft. Every passing day increases your chance of having your identity stolen, so you need to be doing all that you can to protect your identity.

Identity theft is the fastest-growing white-collar crime in the US, and it often has devastating effects on those that become its victim. Take the necessary steps today to ensure that you do not become identity thefts next victim.

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Commence Looking at your Personal Finance and Retirement Planning

By David Johnson

People do not often think about retirement as there is so much else going on in their lives like; children, monthly bills, car payments, health care costs, jobs, and in that rare moment a little time for yourself. What if you could make it easier to take care of retirement saving? That would be one less worry on your mind.

Retirement seems like a long way off, but in reality time will fly by quickly. Before you know it you will be looking at retirement, and if you have planned well, you will be able to enjoy your retirement. If you have not planned for this, you will have a struggle trying to make ends meet.

The notion is fairly straightforward. You choose the year that you plan to retire, and your job is essentially done. The target retirement fund takes over from there. Many more companies are offering target retirement funds to their employees as an option in 401k plans, and you can now pick them up in your IRA. Several of the best known fund companies in the United States are offering the target funds.

Watch the markets and invest some money towards your retirement, you can find vests amounts of information on the Internet about retirement investing. Read everything you can get your hands on, and then put your toe in the market. Start slow, and then you can add more as you are more comfortable. You can also hire someone to do this for you.

Calculation for Saving for Retirement: Guesstimate what your yearly income will be when you decide to retire. First thing to do is to determine the number of years until you retire and how likely it is that you will remain at your current job. Calculate the terminal income using the expected growth in your income. For this you may use a compound interest calculator.

Estimate what your yearly requirement will be after retirement. This is usually between 65% to 100% of your terminal income. Calculate the yearly retirement and social security benefits you expect to use once you retire. Subtract these benefits from the yearly requirement that you calculated above.

With an approximation of the inflation rate, calculate the sum of money you will need when you retire to obtain the calculated yearly income. For this you may use a retirement calculator. If you are giving annual requirement as of date of retirement, enter the parameters for date of retirement as '0'. Otherwise, put in the necessity as of today. The calculator will include the inflation automatically. The calculator will tell you what the amount of money is that you will need to save every year so that you will have enough money to live on after retirement. You can find a retirement calculator on the Internet.

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Forex Strategies - So Many Ways To Profit!

By Michael Allison

Ask any trader of Forex currency. They will tell you the secret to their success. It is most assuredly different for everyone. Each person has their inside tip and strategy that will work for them. Each one can be viable and can be used effectively, but it really depends on the trading style of the trader.

One thing you can do is a Forex managed account. This will let people do the dirty work for you. You simply deposit your money into the account and a professional with make the bids for you. Since it is your money, you can withdrawal it at any time.

If you want to research the field, you can buy or rent books that will discuss the latest tips and tricks for "trend spotting" and how to read the charts and history. There is a lot of good information from the recently published books and magazines.

You can decide to automate your trades with an automated Forex robot. This will be a program that has a complex algorithm built into a program that will attempt to pick pairs and buy and sell them at optimal times. This usually is set up to have low yield returns, but will have a better chance for returns.

One other way to get some good strategies is to check Forex chat rooms or message boards. Talk to others who will be able to help you and give you some good tips and tricks. This is a good way for you to meet others of like interest.

In conclusion, there are enough resources to help you plan your next Forex trading tip. Just use a little elbow grease and perseverance to find out your personal strategy. Remember the trader's golden rule. Buy low and sell high!

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