Monthly Archives: April 2015
Unfortunately we live in a world where scammers are busy every day trying to cheat honest consumers out of their hard-earned money. Many people believe that scammers prey on the elderly only but, the fact is, there are many investment scams that target affluent, intelligent people. Below are a number of the worst, in no particular order, that you definitely need to watch out for if you’re looking for a vehicle to invest in. Enjoy.
Investment Scam #1: Currency Scams
Because of the fact that they have the potential to bring high returns, are exceptionally complex and bring a bit more credibility, currency scams have become extremely popular with criminals.
Investment Scam #2: Ponzi Schemes
This scam takes the cake for being the one that has stolen more money for more people than any other type of investing scam in the world. Early investors in a Ponzi scheme are actually paid with the money that later investors put into it, making them believe that they have an incredible investment that they then tell their friends, family and colleagues about. Without excessive demands for distributions, a Ponzi scheme can perpetuate itself for decades but, when it all falls apart, all that money disappears.
Investment Scam #3: Promissory Notes
Sold to senior citizens looking for a high interest rate and investment with low risk, promissory notes look like an excellent investment choice. Because of the fact that there aren’t any actual investments however, they are definitely not.
Investment Scam #4: Precious Metals
Like investing in currencies, investing in precious metals is very “exotic” and seem like a great idea. The only problem is, no actual precious metals like gold bullion, silver coins and so forth actually exist. Purchasing interest in a “gold mine” is no better, especially when they don’t produce any gold.
Investment Scam #5: Prime Bank Scams
If you think that the wealthy have exclusive investment opportunities that the general public doesn’t have access to, you’re a prime target for a prime bank scam. The wealthy don’t have any access to better opportunities than everyone else, but it sure sounds like a good idea. It’s not.
Investment Scam #6: Investment seminars
The average investment seminar is only making money for one person; the person presenting the seminar. Let’s face it, if the person who was giving that seminar had used their own ideas to get rich, what would they be doing staying in crappy hotels and wasting their weekends talking to strangers and trying to convince them to purchase their books, lectures and DVDs?
Investment Scam #7: Life Settlements
Because these sound like a great investment, many seniors fall for them. The newest one, Senior Settlements, purchase interests in the death benefits of healthy people, but the fact is that it’s extremely difficult to predict when someone is going to pass away. What happens next is that any money you invest it is tied up for years, which is never a good idea.
Credit scores are important if you want to be able to achieve success in life. Usually, people have average credit scores; however, there are some strange cases of low credit scores. If you have ever wondered what could cause someone’s credit score to drop, you will find out today in this article.
Disputing a Credit Card Bill
When your credit report is not correct, you have the right to dispute it. However, even though you have the right to do this, it may not always be a wise choice. For example, if you are filing a dispute for a credit card that has a zero or low balance you will hurt your credit utilization rate.
Paying of old Collections
Many people think that paying off collections will result in their credit score increasing. However, if you pay off an old debt, you are at risk of having it added to your credit report even if it was not initially there. It can come with a payment status that triggers a credit score drop or it may reactivate the legal statute of limitations. Neither of these possibilities is good for your credit rating or your finances.
This is why real estate agents will advise against paying off old debts when you plan to apply for a home loan.
Purchasing a Motorcycle
For one reason or another, you decided to get a motorcycle. However, you are unaware of the negative effects that come with the new set of wheels.
Motorcycle loans are known for being reported as revolving credit. This makes it looks like you have a large amount of credit card debt. Therefore, your credit utilization rate skyrockets and your credit score plummet as a result.
To reduce the chance of negative impacts put down a larger amount of money upfront.
Using a Business Credit Card
At one point, your business credit never affected your personal credit. Those times are gone and now if you use your business credit card frequently, it can lower your personal credit. Having a high balance on your card will increase your utilization rate, which causes your credit score to drop.
Maintaining good credit is hard and many of the things that will lower your credit score are encouraged to those trying to fix their credit. Before doing anything drastic in the financial department you always have to take a moment to step back and think how your action will affect your credit.
You have to insure your car but you should not have to break the bank to do it. Many people know about the common ways of lowering or keeping their payments low, such as good credit, avoiding accidents, and preferred discounts, however there are other possible ways. Below are seven less common ways to lower the cost of car insurance.
1. Buy the Right Car
You might be surprised to know how much the type of car you have affects the price that you pay. Not only do specific types of cars, such as sports cars, cost more but other characteristics also affect the price. Insurance companies operate off of “what if,” so if your car would be cheap to fix in the case of an accident, meaning the parts are cheap to replace, then chances are you can find a decently low plan.
2. Bundle Your Policies
Many insurers offer discounts for clients who are willing to bundle their different insurance policies through the one company. Similar to internet, phone, and cable services, you can get more and pay less with such a method.
3. Pay For What You Need
Reading your policy is key. Take time to go over all aspects of your selected plan and see if you need all of the benefits offered. You may find that you have double coverage of some benefits from multiple policies, or you might find that you simply do not need certain benefits. Either way, you may be able to remove the coverage and significantly lower your bill.
4. Speak to Your Agent Regularly
Taking time to speak with your agent at least once a year when it is time to renew your policy be very helpful. Your agent knows and understands the different requirements, procedures and possible discounts that the company offers. Therefore, if any changes in your life can help lower your premium, such as you switching jobs and having a shorter commute to work, your agent will be able to assist you.
5. Make Large Premium Payments
When you buy items in bulk, you can usually receive or negotiate a smaller price. The same concept applies to your insurance premium. Even if you cannot pay off the entire year in one payment, paying large amounts of your premium at once, if even four months at a time, can help to significantly decrease your costs.
6. Find a Low Crime Residence
Quite simply stated, a low crime area signifies less of a chance of your car being burglarized or stolen. As such, if you move from a high or moderate crime area to a suburban, low-crime area, you could possibly receive a lower premium cost.
7. Stay Loyal
A loyal insurance customer is a valued customer. Many insurers will employ different incentives or offer discounts to those clients who stay with them for many years. They also will usually be quite helpful in settling their valued customer’s claims quickly and efficiently.
By employing the aforementioned tips along with other common strategies to lower insurance costs, you can be well on your way to quality, affordable coverage. For more details, contact your local agent.
There are two facts about credit that should really be written in stone. The 1st is that it’s incredibly easy to ruin your credit. The 2nd is that rebuilding your credit can be extremely difficult and time-consuming.
In fact, if more Americans realized how hard it is to rebuild their credit, and the damage that bad credit can cause to their financial life, you can bet that much fewer would rush out to use their credit cards.
If you’re keen on avoiding credit problems, most of which will stick with you for at least seven years, the 6 mistakes below should be avoided like the plague. Enjoy.
Mistake #1: Getting a credit card if you’re not prepared to use it correctly
Many consumers dig themselves into a deep hole of debt because, simply put, they aren’t ready to use credit and credit cards correctly. If you don’t really understand how money works, haven’t set up a budget and don’t yet have a steady income, it’s probably not a good time to get a credit card.
Mistake #2: Getting too many credit cards
If you’re a beginner with credit it’s probably a good idea to simply have one credit card until you’ve had practice in using credit, learn some basics about how money works and, frankly, are responsible enough to handle multiple credit cards. Keeping track of balances, payment amounts, the available credit that you have and more than one due date for all of those credit bills can make even experienced consumers a little confused.
Mistake #3: Taking on too much debt at one time
No matter how much money you actually earn every month, whether it’s $2000 or $20,000, if you have more bills to pay than money coming in every month you’re going to dig yourself into a hole of debt, and quickly. You’d be absolutely amazed at how many people make an excellent living and are still deeply in debt simply because of this one mistake.
Mistake #4: Not facing, and solving, financial problems
Many people make like an ostrich when facing financial problems and stick their head in the sand, but the only result that gets you is more debt and sand all over the place. Ignoring your financial troubles will only allow them to get worse, so face them, correct them and move on.
Mistake #5: Treating non-credit payments differently
While credit card amounts and loans like mortgages and automobile loans are reported each month to the big 3 credit bureaus, payments like utilities, Internet and cell phone bills aren’t. Many consumers make the mistake of neglecting these payments for this very fact but, if you default on one of these types of payments, it will definitely impact your credit, especially when a collection agency is called in to help collect your debt.
Mistake #6:Forgetting to adjust your spending habits after a major change in your life
If you move to a new city, have a baby, get a raise, get married or lose your job, all of these situations will affect your finances. Some will be positive but most will be negative and, if you don’t adjust to those changes, reevaluating your spending habits in the process, you might find yourself in a world of trouble, credit-wise.
If any of these mistakes are troubling you and you are looking for advice or answers, send us an email or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you with answers.