Even if it’s not your first time, buying a home can be frustrating and stressful, as it can take weeks or months to locate the right house. Plus, with each bid, there’s a chance that the property owner will reject your offer and go with another buyer. Good real estate agents understand this frustration, and often go above and beyond to keep you happy. However, as a stressed-out home buyer, you may need to be careful not to blame your agent for problems out of his or her control.
Are you eagerly counting down the days to your next vacation? After working hard throughout the year, you deserve a few days of relaxation and fun. But regardless of how excited you are to take your next trip, it’s always crucial that you plan wisely and always remember to take plenty of precautions. After all, nothing can ruin your trip faster than losing your bankroll. Pickpockets often target tourists, and if you’re careless with your wallet or purse, someone could swipe your money from under your nose.
Don’t be an easy target. Here are some simple ways to keep your money safe when traveling.
The Internet has completely changed the way we conduct business. A few clicks of your mouse, and you can schedule appointments, book a hotel reservation, reserve an airline ticket, and even start your journey to earn a college degree. Of course, one of the biggest perks of the Internet – and one of the most widely used – is online shopping.
Online shopping has taken the world by storm, with more and more people hopping online to purchase everything from clothes to books. Why deal with crowded shopping malls and long checkout lines? Using the Internet to compare prices and make purchases is easy, fast, and fun.
Moving out of your parents’ house just may be the most important step you take toward independence. You can finally live by your own rules, without curfews or restrictions, and take care of responsibilities on your own schedule and in your own way.
However, as appealing as this may sound, the freedom of living on your own comes with great responsibility, financial and otherwise. Before you take this bold step, make sure you’re fully prepared for what lies ahead.
How to Prepare to Live on Your Own
If you haven’t applied for a mortgage in the past six years, you may be unfamiliar with the new lending standards. Back in the mid-2000s, people with credit scores as low as 580 could qualify for a mortgage – but things have since changed. If you want to qualify for a mortgage loan today, most lenders require at least a minimum credit score of 680. This is not a problem if you have a perfect credit report and a good credit score. If you also have sufficient income and adequate upfront cash, you’ve got your foot in the door.
Credit card companies like to bombard consumers with special offers, and if you have a good credit score, you likely receive pre-approved credit card invitations from time to time. Furthermore, if you already have a credit card in your name, your issuer may periodically send you convenience checks tied to your credit card account. You can use these checks for any purpose, providing that a retailer or other business accepts this method of payment.
Convenience checks look like regular checks, and if you’re cash-strapped, they’re pretty enticing to use. However, before you hastily fill one out, it is crucial that you learn how convenience checks work – and understand the numerous risks.
While there is never any excuse for abuse, the behavior of some relentless debt collectors can border on abusive. Though there are laws to protect you from harassment, a collector may call your home nonstop, as well as harass your family or any other person listed as a reference on your account. Some collectors speak harshly or issue threats, and if you don’t take a stand, this bad behavior can continue for months or years.
If you don’t owe the debt in question, harassment makes the situation even more difficult to deal with. You may repeatedly deny the debt, but to no avail. To resolve your situation, you must start by understanding how debt collectors and collection accounts work.
Your credit report provides detailed information about your credit history, and when applying for a loan, the contents of your report can make or break the deal. Many people acknowledge the importance of a good credit score, yet neglect to monitor their own.
People live busy, hectic lives, and often their credit profile is the last thing on their minds. However, ignoring your credit report can cause you significant problems. So much can impact your score, and the more you know about it, the better. Keeping an eye on your credit can help you buy a house, secure a job, and save money on insurance.
If you’re like many people, you believe that as long as your credit card bill and other recurring debts are paid on time each month, you must have a great credit score. Right?
Unfortunately, earning and maintaining a good credit score isn’t nearly as simple as you might think. While timeliness and credit utilization play a major part in determining your score, there are a number of other factors that come into play – and some aren’t so obvious. Take a look at some of the issues below and see if you can improve your score.
Applying for a credit card is one of the fastest and easiest ways to build your credit score – and if you’re low on cash, a credit card can help you through a financial jam. However, your enthusiasm over getting approved for a new card could come to a screeching halt if you receive a rejection letter.
A credit card denial can come as a complete surprise, especially if you feel that you’re a good candidate for a new account. But when reviewing applications, credit card companies take many factors into consideration, only approving applicants with a low default risk.