Friday, June 29, 2007

Prepaid Credit Cards –- Live the Life of Convenience

Prepaid credit cards offer one of the most user-friendly and convenient ways of managing debts obtained from credit card purchases while maintaining the quality of enjoyment obtained from those tiny plastic financial instruments. Also called a stored-value credit card, it generally shows some similarities with common debit cards since money is stored or deposited with the primary issuer. But the most obvious similarity that can be spotted between the two is that stored-value credit cards usually display the individual owner's names for security purposes while debit cards will issue the names of each single account holder. These are all done by enrolling every financial account of a prospective user under a bank card name so that every personal account details will be mailed to the card holder's address as deemed necessary. But despite all of these comparisons, we can definitely rely on the fact that these cards, when properly used, can still offer one of the best and top-rated financial-related services to global customers and clients from all over the world.

Prepaid credit cards are usually branded with gigantic names in the banking and finance industry, such as Visa and MasterCard. And because of this apparent commercialization, the best thing that we can say about these cards is that if we compare it to other privilege gift cards, they can be better and widely used at almost any payment or cash transactions worldwide because of their proven reliability.

Usage of prepaid credit cards has also its own set of rules and regulations. In the country of Canada for instance, their own Financial Consumer Agency publishes booklets that contains necessary, relevant information such as the advantages and disadvantages of using these cards. The coverage of the practical tips contained inside are not only limited to the usage of these cards within Canada but in the other countries as well. Moreover, if we compare the features to other modes of payment like check issuing and direct to bank transactions, many are just compelled to prefer and obtain these stored-value cards.

There are many uses of prepaid credit cards. For one, we can save ourselves from the inconvenience and risks of bringing hard, cold cash in our pockets if we will obtain one. Add to that is the availability and accessibility of cash anytime and every time whenever the customer needs it. They can also be used to fund payment transactions being done online, and we can take the example of the services being offered by PayPal. PayPal is a worldwide online trademark that offers one of the most top-rated services when it comes to sending and receiving payments online, and for this matter, it will really be convenient if we have our stored-value credit cards ready to fund the transaction to ensure faster processing and delivery of payments.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Discover Credit Cards

If you're looking for a way to make your life easier, consider filling out an application for a Discover credit card. Credit cards from Discover are easy to get and easy to use. They offer the same things other credit cards offer, but they are made to fit your lifestyle.

Consider what your lifestyle is before applying for one of many Discover credit cards. Are you someone who loves travel? Check out the new card, Miles, from Discover. This card allows you to redeem your points with no restrictions, so you can travel where and when you want. Perhaps you're a person who needs a little extra motivation to maintain your credit card account? Consider the Discover Motiva card, which credits you with a bonus when you make your monthly payments on time.

Other types of rewards cards are also available from Discover credit cards. Looking for a great cash back card? The Discover More card gives you a 5% cash back bonus! Or perhaps you are a student. The Discover student card fits into your life with the option to manage your account online and cash back on all purchases. And with a liberal credit check policy, you don't have to fear being turned down just because it is your first card.

It isn't easy managing everything in your life regarding personal finance. Between your budget, your investments and all of life's little bumps, sometimes taking on another financial duty can seem like too much work. That's why it's so important to choose the right credit card. When you choose a Discover Credit card, you can be sure it will fit in your life.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

7 Things Not To Do To Boost Your Credit Score

Lately, there has been a lot of issues as far as the credit repair companies are concern. In 2006, the FTC hounded around 20 of the credit repair companies in a crackdown called Project Credit Despair. In addition, the agency has pursued a total of 70 credit repair companies to date.

You don't need credit repair companies to improve your credit. Below are the Seven things not to do to boost your credit score!!

1.)Don't charge anything at the wrong time.
Your FICO score is impacted by a ratio called the "Total debt to total credit ratio." You should understand that the larger the total balance as a percent of the aggregate total credit of all the cards, the lower the score will be. It is estimated that you lose 1 FICO point for every percent of your credit limit that you use. So if you have a total credit limit of $15,000 and have a current balance of $7,500 (50%), your score would be 50 points lower than if you had a $0 balance. Remember that if you can't pay off your total balance in full, you should try to keep it below 25 percent of your total credit limit.

2.)Don't apply for a lot of loans and credit cards in a short period
Creditors don't like to see a person who's gone on a credit spree- applying for a lot of new credit accounts in a short period of time.

3.)Don't use your credit card for at least two months before applying for a loan.
The payments that you made may take at least a month to get reported by the creditors to the credit bureaus. By not charging at least two months before, it's more likely that all the payments you've made to date will be seen in your credit score by the time a lender ask for it. Please read the first don't – limit your overall balance as a percent of your total credit limit.

4.)Don't missed a payment.
You should always pay your credit card bill in full and mail it as soon as you receive the statement.

5.)Don't be too unconcerned about your credit
You should always check your credit report and FICO score for any invalid information posted by the creditors. Also, checking this would allow you to catch any identity thieves. Keep in mind that you can get a free copy of your credit report annually from

6.)Don't just own a few credit card accounts
Think about opening a couple of credit-cards, or taking out a personal loan. Lenders prefer to see a potential borrower responsibly managing a mix of revolving debt.

7.)Don't close unused accounts when you transfer debt.
Closing any unused credit accounts will significantly increase your debt to credit limit ratio. Remember the first don't - try to keep your balance below 30% of your total credit limit. For example, assuming that you have four credit cards, which have credit limits of $10,000 each but one of them is unused and you owe $10,000 total balance on the other two cards, closing the unused credit card would increase your total debt to credit limit ratio from 25% ($10,000/$40,000) to 33% ($10,000/$30,000)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Credit Repair and the American Dream

A Great Investment

Home ownership has always been considered an integral part of the American Dream. Over the last fifty years those that were able to realize this dream have experienced a great financial benefit. Home ownership, in fact, has contributed more to the wealth of the individual than any other investment. But there is another side to home ownership; it is also the most significant financial obligation that most people will ever undertake. If managed properly home ownership can be a source of great pleasure. If mismanaged, the results can be devastating.

Better Rate More Choice

I have helped people repair and restore their credit reports since 1989. The most common concern amongst our customers has always been the impact that their credit report will have on the mortgage application process. The relationship between your credit and your mortgage is simple; the better your credit, the lower your interest rate and the more choice you will have among mortgage programs.

The Potential of Credit Repair

If you have had credit issues in the past it is essential to your financial life that you have a very clear understanding of how credit repair can help get you back on solid financial ground again. To understand the potential of credit repair there is a myth that needs to be dispelled. This myth is that you are the only one who can repair your own credit. This is a line that was originally promulgated by the credit bureaus and is now parroted by others.

Can You Do it Yourself?

The motivation of the credit bureaus to sell the do-it-yourself campaign was obvious to those of us in the credit repair business. The credit bureaus are well aware of the fact that the vast majority of individuals that undertake the effort to repair their own credit do not have the time or tenacity to understand the system. And without a proper understanding most people will quit out of frustration, or give up believing that they have done everything that can be done. Either way, the credit bureaus will save time and money.

The Role of the Credit Repair Professional

All professions provide the benefit of a mastery of their own field. Although it is certainly true that you could repair your own credit, it is equally true that you could make your own clothes or repair your own car. The economy thrives on the diversity of expertise that is offered in the marketplace. Those that do not have the time or energy to do the extensive research needed to do a job properly can hire someone else to do the work for them. A credit repair professional offers the benefit of his experience in dealing with the three credit bureaus, creditors, and collection agencies. He should also have an in depth understanding of everything that can have an impact on your credit score.

Improving Your Credit Scores

Would you like to purchase a home or refinance to a lower interest rate? The mortgage that you are able to obtain will be entirely dependant on the content of your credit report. As a credit repair professional I speak to people daily who have been told that they either cannot qualify for a mortgage due to their credit, or only qualify for a very expensive sub-prime mortgage. In our examination of their credit reports we often discover that there are a significant number of errors that are depressing their credit scores dramatically.

Putting Your Credit to Work for You

Much of the misreported information that appears on credit reports goes unrecognized. Items such as duplicate accounts, understated high credit limits, and misstated account opening dates are often ignored because they are not derogatory per se. These items along with the obvious erroneous derogatory information can all be cleaned up. And the results can make the difference between an affordable mortgage and a stressful monthly payment.

Choose Carefully

The American Dream is achievable and it depends on your credit. If you have the time and inclination to learn credit repair yourself you should make the effort. If you do not feel up to the task you should hire someone to get the job done for you. And, in making the decision you should remember the potential impact that your credit can have on your life. You work hard for your money. Make sure that your credit works just as hard for you.

Copyright © 2007 James W. Kemish. All Content. All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

How Credit Report Inquires Affect Your Credit Rating

If you are like the vast majority of consumers, you understand how credit works, to a very limited extent. In other words, you have a line of credit somewhere, and as long as you do not exceed your credit limit and pay at least the minimum amount on time every month, everybody is happy. But there are some additional things about credit reports that you should know.

First of all, there are three major credit bureaus in the US – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Each of them maintain a credit report on you, including all past and present credit accounts and your credit history. But they do not share information between them, so each credit bureau has a credit score for you that is different. That is because not all creditors report to all three bureaus; in fact, very few of them report to all three.

Beyond that, how do inquiries into your credit report affect your credit score, or does it have any effect at all? The answer is that it definitely has an effect, but the type of inquiry determines the level of effect. For example, if you yourself apply for a new line of credit somewhere like for a new car or at a department store, this has the largest effect on your credit score. If you are approved, then your credit score reflects the fact that you now have this new line of credit which has been approved and the very real potential to extend yourself too thinly.

Sometimes a credit card company has a new product or service that they want to alert people to, but just people who meet their criteria, which is aimed at the type of person that they have deemed most likely to be receptive to their new offering. This type of inquiry into your credit report is known as a soft inquiry, done without your permission or knowledge, just to see if you meet their criteria for sending their ad, and this type of soft inquiry has little to no effect on your credit score.

One of the other factors that can adversely affect your credit score is the number of "pulls" or inquiries on your credit report. Yes, even time an inquiry is made to your credit report, that fact is recorded and becomes a part of your credit report with that credit bureau, also indicating whether it was a "hard pull" or a "soft pull". A large number of hard pulls on your credit report will definitely affect it negatively, especially if those pulls do not result in a similar number of newly approved lines of credit.

The time factor is also taken into account. For example, having 25 hard pulls on your credit report over a three year period of time is not necessarily bad, but having those same 25 pulls on your credit report over the course of two months is definitely going to set off a red flag with the credit bureau and negatively impact your credit score.

The bottom line is to not apply for credit ad hoc and at every opportunity. While it may result in a new line of credit, it may also lower your credit score to the point where those new accounts are actually COSTING your more via a lower credit score than they are really worth to you.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Opinion by Steve Bucci : Credit card for wedding a lousy way to start off

Q My fiancee and I would like to get a new credit card for wedding expenses. She has a higher FICO score than I do (hers is in the 720-730 area; mine is in the mid-600s), but I make considerably more money than she does ($60,000 versus $20,000). The credit card we would be applying for would normally require a score like hers. I want to know if it would be wise for us to apply for the card jointly, or if she should apply for the card by herself.

A How do I get your attention without using a two-by-four? Why is your credit score in the 600s? Why haven't you saved for the wedding? Why are you using a credit card, of all things, to finance what should be one of the happiest days of your lives? How much of a limit are you looking for, anyway?

Is your fiancee in such a state of bliss that she doesn't realize that by financing the wedding on a card in her name she will be solely responsible for the debt?

These and other questions come to my mind immediately. That they haven't come to either of yours concerns me.

My advice is not to finance your futures, especially with a variable interest rate loan. A better idea is to save for the wedding expenses for which you would be using a credit card. If you want or need to get married before you are able to save the money, cut back on the expenses for the wedding so you don't need to charge anything.

I also endorse letting your parents contribute.

If you are not wildly optimistic about your futures now, you probably never will be. So, if you want to know how to do things your way, here goes:

It is not a good idea for either one of you to get stuck with the bill for the wedding if you part ways before the tab is paid. So, why not take an egalitarian approach: Apply for two credit cards, one in each of your names, and split the costs based on your respective incomes.

It is important for you each to have credit in your own names, and the financial responsibility would be shared equally. I know, I know, you are getting married and will be sharing everything quite willingly. Do this for the protection of both of you.

Now to the part that no one wants to discuss — paying off the balance. I would hope you are charging no more than what you can pay off in nine months or less.

Debt Adviser

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 01, 2007

Cash only gas station lowers prices

CLEVELAND -- If you want cheaper gas, put away your credit card.

The independent gas station on Puritas Avenue near W. 137th is small and plain. Even the signs posted on every pump are hand lettered and then taped to the glass: "Cash Only, No Credit Cards".This gas stion won't take American Express, MasterCard, Visa, or even a bank debit card. The owner's son says the key to their lower prices is the absence of credit."We're keeping it the lowest price we know right now", said Tariq Hashem. "Every time somebody uses plastic, the credit card company is charging us 25 cents per transaction. And we're only making two pennies per gallon of profit."Customers are willing to trade convenience for lower prices. "If you save some money here it's where I'm at," said Chris Bruno. "I have plenty of credit cards. But I'll pay cash to save a few cents."Regular customers like Anthony Carter put in ten dollars of gas at one time and then come back the next day."This Monte Carlo has a big V8 engine and it drinks gas like water", said Carter.A few miles away, the national brand gas stations all accept credit card payments but also charge higher prices. One was 15 cents per gallon higher.But at "Ohio Gas Station Number 1", cash is king. But so is the lower price.Neighbor Laura Ludwig told Channel 3's Mike O'Mara, "they are great people and their price is always low. They are always lower than anybody else."Owner, Tariq Hashem added, "we're always the cheapest. And a lot of people over here like the way we treat customers.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,