How to Maintain a Good Credit Score

What causes bad credit? Late payments, charge-offs, defaulting on loans, foreclosure and bankruptcies are some of the things that can ruin your credit. An unpaid judgment can also cause your credit score to drop to the point where even an easy personal loan isn’t so easy to get. Dealing with bad credit can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are ways that you can keep your credit score high.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Check Your Credit Report

It is estimated that 20 percent of people have at least one error on their credit report. If you have a low score, then it may be due to errors on your credit score. That is why it is important to obtain a copy of your credit report. Keep in mind that you can get one free report each year. If you have errors, then you will need to report them to the credit bureaus as soon as possible.

Watch Your Credit Card Balances

A credit card can make or break your credit score. If you keep your credit card balances low, then you can increase your credit score. Paying on time can also boost your credit.

The optimal credit utilization percentage is 30 percent. This means that if your credit card limit is $1,500, then your balance should not be above $500. You can keep your balance low by making multiple payments throughout the months. If you are getting close to the 30 percent limit, then you can ask for a limit increase.

Leave Old Debt on Your Credit Report

Many people remove items that they have paid off from their credit report. However, it is a good idea for you to keep these items on your credit report. Keeping items that you have paid off on your report will help you add points to your credit score.

Pay Bills on Time

Your payment history is one of the main things that affect your credit score. In fact, it determines 35 percent of your credit score. That is why paying your bills on time is one of the best things that you can do for your credit score.

It is important to note that one missed payment can drop your credit score. If you have any missed payments, then you will need to pay them off as soon as possible. Ask your bill collectors to delete past-due accounts after you have paid them off.

Be Careful About Applying for New Credit

You can add points to your credit score by having multiple credit cards on your credit report. However, applying for too many credit cards at one time can cause your credit score can drop. Lenders may also consider this a risk. Many people apply for credit cards in order to supplement their income.

Bad credit is a problem that many people have due to things like late payments, past-due accounts, collection accounts and errors. However, there are ways that you can improve it. You will need to make sure that all credit errors are corrected. You will also need to keep your credit card balances low, pay bills on time and leave old debt on your credit report. Additionally, you will have to be careful about applying for new credit.

3 Tips To Improve Your Money Management Skills

If you’re not adequately handling your finances, you may be stressed out and struggling to keep up with your bills. Although your problem may be due to the fact that you’re not earning as much as you need, some of it may be due to poor personal money management skills.

There are some basic personal finance management techniques that you can quickly learn to begin to feel confident about your ability to manage your finances. Let’s take a look at how to get money for a financial emergency, how to create a budget, and how to build awareness around money.

1. How to get out of a financial emergency.

There’s nothing more distressing than doing your best to make your salary last through the month only to be blindsided by an unexpected high expense.

If, for instance, you notice one morning before you get into your car on your way to work that all four tires of your car need to be changed, then, on average, it could cost you as much as $600 because the cost of tires ranges from $500 to $700. While you might be able to postpone this for a few weeks, the longer you wait, the more you risk having a blowout on the freeway. Since you may only be earning about $300 to $500 a week, with that money going to pay your regular bills, you may be wondering how you’re going to be able to afford to buy new tires.

Fortunately, there are lending companies that will give quick cash loans you can pay back in installments. The approval process is fairly easy and you will receive your money fast. You just need to be employed, have a valid Social Security number, and have an active checking account.

  1. How to create a budget.

In order to create a budget, you need to take the following 7 steps:

  • First, find a system that works well for you. You may want to get a software program that makes it easy to set up your budget. Alternatively, you may prefer complete autonomy in how you organize the budget. In this case, use a spreadsheet. After you’ve opened up a spreadsheet program, put in column headings and then create cells for recording income and expenses and cells for calculating totals.
  • Second, establish what your net income is after taxes. You need to know exactly how much money is coming in every month from all your income sources.
  • Third, make a list of all the ways you spend your money each month.
  • Fourth, create a financial goal to spend less than you earn.
  • Fifth, make a plan to help you reach this goal.
  • Sixth, take a month to track your cash flow.  This first month should be focused on researching your budget numbers.
  • Seventh, keep on improving your budget. Every month, you will get a more realistic idea about your spending habits, and you will get numerous insights on how to manage your money better.
  1. How to raise your money awareness.

In order to improve your habits around money, you need to increase your awareness around money. Specifically, you need to become aware of where your money is going. In order to develop self-awareness, you need to keep track of  the following four things:

  1. How often you sabotage your money plan.
  2. When you confuse your needs with your wants.
  3. The times you succumb to peer pressure, spending money on things that you don’t really want but buy anyway because you are trying to fit in.
  4.  When you abuse your credit card, creating a debt that you won’t be able to pay off during the next billing cycle.

The best way to develop money awareness is to carry a small notebook with you. Simply writing each money mistake you make will build your awareness; and, over time, you will stop making mistakes.

In closing, if you find yourself struggling with money, you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with money management because they were taught how to manage their money despite years of formal education. Fortunately, learning these three basic money management techniques just requires time and patience to master.

Where to Buy Properties in Canada

Though Canada has a very similar lifestyle and quality of life as in the United States, the real estate market there is much more stable. The Canadian real estate market didn’t experience the crash that the States experienced, and in the last few years, has gone up in value, making great returns for those who invested. It’s difficult to generalize the entire country’s market, so we have broken it up into cities that might be interesting for potential American investor.

Toronto

No, it’s not the capital of Canada, but it is its biggest city, boasting a population of 2.8 million, and a thriving real estate economy. Prices have grown dramatically in the last few years, making it difficult for many to afford. However, Canada has learned from its southern neighbor and has been careful with financing options, avoiding the “bubble”. Instead, think of this high value market as a “play big, win big” opportunity. With Lester B. Pearson International airport, Toronto is a global city that is well linked with the rest of the world.

Montreal

The closest you are going to get to Europe on the North American continent, this cosmopolitan center is a great place to own a property. There are a range of options, from houses to stacked townhouses. Find condos for sale in Dorval near urban amenities and green spaces, perfect for working individuals as well as families with kids. You could invest in a long-term rental here, as well as other options, as this is a thriving city with plenty of tourists, conferences, etc.

Vancouver

Dramatic landscapes, mild weather, liveable communities all sound like one amazing Canadian city: Vancouver. “Vancity” as it is known, has been an investors’ darling – high, growing prices as this metropolis gains more and more momentum and desirability. Though the point of entry is sky high, we don’t foresee the prices dropping, and besides – who doesn’t want to own property here? Some say it’s as close as you get to utopia in North America.

Windsor

The city bordering with Detroit shares a river but none of its recent problems. Low real estate prices makes this a desirable investment opportunity as it is easy to enter, yet the prices have been on an upward turn. Many like Windsor for its long summer with balmy weather and the opportunity to play in Detroit while live in more family-centered Windsor. Traveling back and forth to the States is very approachable and easy, as there is both a bridge and a tunnel that connects these two cities. Furthermore, there is some beautiful countryside just outside of Windsor, full of wineries, fruit farms, and amazing views of Lake Erie. Truly a retiree’s dream.

Cornwall

If you really don’t have a lot of cash to invest, Cornwall could be just what you are looking. You can find a great deal on spacious homes in this small city, once again close to the US border. It’s a beautiful municipality on the St. Lawrence River and close to the major cities of Ottawa and Montreal. If big cities are overwhelming to you and all you want is a quiet town that still has all the essentials of the city, Cornwall could be the place for you.

There are many different places that you could be interested in buying properties in Canada. Depending on your budget and what your long-term goals are, it might be worth talking to an international property specialist who will have a more focused approach and will able to help you with the paperwork required in an international purchase. Buying abroad might seem complicated and exotic right now, but when it’s Canada, you know that it is a safe bet, perhaps even safer than at home.

The Ins & Outs of Online Trading Courses

When you are stuck in a dead-end cubicle job, you are looking for any viable way out. Enrolling in online trading courses is key to becoming a profitable day trader, which can give you the financial freedom to say goodbye to the office job that you never loved.

With Warrior Trading you can enroll in day trading courses that put you onto an accelerated path that can bring you to a viable level of profitability, without taking up too much of your time. The key is being able to absorb and understand the Warrior strategies of momentums day trading, swing trading and penny stocks trading.

When you enroll in day trading classes, you need to understand how much time and effort is required. Although these classes are laid out in an informative and accessible manner, this is no get rich quick scheme. You need to be able to follow along and put the work in to be a successful day trader.

When you join up with Warrior Trading, the basic classes will teach you the basics of day trading strategies, the techniques to make sure you are squeezing the most profits out of hot stocks, how to find those winning stocks in the first place and how to read and understand charts. Reading advanced chars is an essential part of being a day trader. You want to be able to see the candles and the highs and lows of each stock.

One of the best parts about joining Warrior Trading is that you are joining a community. Day trading can be a lonely and isolating business. Being in a daily chat room with other day traders and learning and understanding what the veteran traders are doing on a daily basis can be an invaluable edge to your education.

While being an independent day trader is a great way to have a flexible job, free from the demands and stresses of a petty workplace, it helps to have a group that shares your goals, fears, hopes and dreams. You can relate to the other traders in Warrior Trading’s chat room.

When you delve into Warrior Trading’s online trading courses, the details of these strategies will be fully fleshed out in an accessible manner. Beginning traders need a low bar in order to start racking up wins and gaining confidence. That is one of the keys to being successful in any endeavor, not only day trading.

When you want to learn more about online trading classes, check out Warrior Trading on Facebook.

Credit Can Affect These Monthly Bills

Credit is the primary factor in proving your borrowing worth to lenders, so to speak.  While income and current debt liabilities do factor in, credit score can give an overall picture as to whether or not you will not only be approved, but what interest rate you will secured, or even have the application turned down.  While there are some obvious monthly bills that are affected by your credit score, there are others that may come as a surprise just how much your credit affects other payment obligations as well, so it is important to get your score as high as you can.

Mortgage, Credit Cards, Personal Loan

The most obvious that you credit will affect any application you put in for a mortgage, credit card, or loan from the bank.  Not only will your credit be a major decision in your loan approval, it will also decide what interest rate you will be granted.  Depending on the size of the loan whether it is for a car or even larger for a home purchase, even a small percentage of an increase in rate could cost you hundreds to thousands in extra interest payments per year.

Rent

While it can be tough to secure a mortgage with the tight standards, you will be surprised that even getting approved for rent by a potential landlord can be difficult if you have poor credit.  Landlords want to ensure that you have not only are able to afford the rent payment, but also that based on your history, if you have a pattern of on-time payments.  If your credit score gets too low not only could you be out of getting a mortgage, but it could cost you being able to be able to even rent a place to live.

Car Insurance

A little surprising when it comes to how your credit score can affect other necessary monthly bills is car insurance.  The first thought that comes to mind is what does insurance have to do with credit score, but fitting the theme of granting money, insurance companies also want to make sure that you are a responsible borrower before they will approve insurance for you, and all the more reason to have a great credit score so you don’t have to pay any extra in insurance premiums than you already have to pay each month.

Auto Lease

Basically, every car commercial you see if offering a payment for a hundred or two each month, and by now you realize that after all of the fine print and taxes added in, it really is more like a few hundred a month for a new lease.  While that may be true, that is also assuming that you have great credit, but if you don’t, that $300 a month for a new car can turn into $350 a month pretty quickly with a boost from the finance department, or even not being able to be approved at all.  So, with now home, insurance, and car, credit affects almost every aspect in life.

Renewable energy: pros and cons

When the world broke out with the promising talks about the renewable sources of energy, some critics of modern progress entered the conversation. In this article we are going to discuss the most popular statements that put the reputation of renewable energy under attack.

The hottest news: who we do trust

With the upcoming plans of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) the offshore wind offtake is likely to be used in some American states. The director of NYSERDA Doreen Harris claims to be providing new opportunities for usage of offshore wind energy in June this year.

It could be a great solution for American manufacture that is based on limited and running out non-renewable energy. However, we cannot ignore the next facts.

Weak attempts to regulate nature

At first, renewable sources of energy depend on the weather so much. For instance, if there are any unpredictable alternations of weather, the consumption of wind energy is under danger.

The protectors of environment say that it is forbidden for a person to invade the independent life of nature. Otherwise, the severe rain or slow wind streams might affect energy production badly.

Then, the second reason put forward by people who are against renewable sources is that it is almost impossible to produce such energy in large amounts. This technical decision is able to have negative consequences embodied in the necessity to save on the energy consumed. Particularly, one needs to decrease the total consumption of energy in case he uses only renewable sources for his business affairs.

The next issues to be sold lie in the necessity to create a great deal of solar panel and wind farms to launch the good functioning of such energy.  Nevertheless, it is more a space for further work and development than a true problem.

Why we do need renewable sources of energy

When we talk about the renewable sources of energy, the positive sides are much more significant than shadow or unclear ones.

Having outlined the main problems, we must say that pros leave behind the controversial influence of cons in this issue. For example, the usage of renewable energy sources is likely to be beneficial for the state of world economics as their usage makes impact on keeping prices more stable.

How does it work? Perhaps, it is not a secret for anybody that inflation is based on the raise of fall visible in the supply of fossil fuels. Consequently, once you start using renewable sources of energy, the finances are spent on the further development of technical progress but not on the inflation touching the cost of non-renewable resources.

Sustainability is another advantage as, whatever happens, sun is going to shine while a wind is about to blow. The only thing is that enterprises dealing with such a kind of energy production are to apply to an infrastructure advisor specialized in the commercial development of renewable energy projects.

How could we save ecology?

The more attention we bring to ecological issues, the better our planet could become. No hesitations, the supply of renewable energy is able to make the environment healthy because such sources do not contaminate it with carbon dioxide and other toxic substances.

Except for that, renewable sources of energy do not waste the nature along with its materials that had been saved for a long time. One more pleasant thing in which one could definitely be convince is that renewable sources of energy will not disappear one day. Thus, many countries will not have to rely only on coal, oil, and gas anymore.

Smart Ways to Save on the Summer Cooling Bill to Start Now

Rejoice, the summer months are almost here, and we have even flirted with August temperatures in the Midwest for a while now, enough that the air conditioning has been kicking on quite a bit.  This could be a great time to check your home for efficiency to ensure that you do not have any outside heat coming in, causing the air to kick on more than it should.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

It’s hard to imagine any homes out there without a programmable thermostat, especially considering most out there now are even Wi-Fi that you can program on your phone, but I at least need to put it out there for those that may own an older home that do not have one.  By setting the temperature higher during the day while you are work, and cooling in time for you to get home, and even cooler at night, it will make quite a difference instead of running all day and adding up your electric bill.

Seal Around Doors and Windows

It can be a little more tough to find drafts in the summer time compared to the winter when you can feel by hand the cold air coming inside, but for now, if you can walk around the house and make sure that doors and windows are sealed, and touch up with some caulk, you can notice a difference with the heat staying outside.  Also, I have also noticed that if you check outlets on walls that are shared with the outside, you can put foam inserts behind the wall plate to cover any drafts, and also even plug the outlets with baby proof inserts.

Cook Outside

Nothing says summer like firing up the barbeque to cook up some burgers or steaks, but it doesn’t have to stop there.  Moving the cooking from inside on the stove and oven to now outside on the grill you will save plenty off the air conditioning bill now that you will not be heating the entire house when you cook.  Sure, this may be a great trick during the winter to give off some heat in the house, but it can be dreadful in the summer months when you are trying to keep cool.  Crack open a beer outside and enjoy the summer air while you cook and leave heat out there.

Crank Up the Ceiling Fans

Living in a colonial home, the upstairs gets so much more hot upstairs, that cranking up the air and adjusting the vents still makes it cold on the first level and warm upstairs, so that every morning I typically woke up in a pool of sweat in the summer.  Finally installing a ceiling fan has made a world of difference.  Although it is not making the temperature cold in the bedroom, at least circulating the air can give a breeze that makes sleeping a little more comfortable without tossing and turning all night, and I actually find myself using a light sheet with the breeze going.

Cosigners or Collateral? Weigh Both Properly When Seeking A Loan

Borrowing money is something everyone has to do at some point. Not everyone, however, presents the same level of credit-based worthiness and risk to a lender. While lenders are in the business of issuing money at interest, the lenders do need to take extra precautions when someone has weak credit. Borrowers are not entirely concerned with the business matters of lenders. They would just like to collect the funds they ask for. Things are not always so simple. Sometimes, extra steps are required to garner an approval.

Two very common approaches are employed by those who may not otherwise be approved for a personal loan. The would-be borrower could request someone co-sign the loan or he/she could put up some form of collateral. Some may seriously weigh a designer to ask a cosigner to help out or to go the collateral route.

The Benefits of a Cosigner

If a cosigner puts his or her signature on the loan application, the loan may be easily approved. Granted, the cosigner would need excellent credit in order for such an outcome. Finding the right cosigner is critical to be approved. A cosigner with weak credit is hardly going to be much help to the cause. An individual with good or better credit score may aid with a quick approval and the receipt of a lower interest rate.

The problems with a cosigner may give some pause for thought, though.

The Drawbacks of a Cosigner

Borrowers may have trouble finding a cosigner. Not everyone is willing to put his or her name — and obligation to pay — on someone else’s loan application. Those who need a loan quickly might be too pressed for time to locate a cosigner.

Even when a cosigner agrees to terms of the loan, he or she might not actually stick to them. In other words, if the primary borrower defaults, the cosigner may default as well. The “safety net” of the cosigner making payments disappears. Both parties end up in trouble.

In the event of a default, the borrower and the cosigner are probably going to end up with a very strained relationship. Borrowers do need to ask if such a risk is worth it.

Collateral and Its Benefits

When collateral is put up for a loan, the loan is considered secured. Collateral alone might not be enough. Financial institutions don’t want to go through the trouble of seizing collateral to resell it. Hence, the lenders do look closely at the credit history of the borrower. A person with bad credit might be turned down even if he/she is putting something of tremendous value up as collateral.

Not all collateral loans require good credit. A car title loan would be a type of secured loan in which poor credit borrowers and the unemployed could be immediately approved. How title loans work is fairly easy to understand. Essentially, the title — ownership — of the car is put up as equity. The loan amount is going to be lower than the full resale value of the car. Interest rates may be very high. For some, a car title loan may be the only option available due to financial and credit history circumstances.

Other collateral loan options exist. Those who own property may explore home equity options, a low-interest endeavor. Borrowing from a pawn shop has become a popular form of secured borrowing thanks to television shows highlighting the industry.

Think Things Through

Any borrower who cannot be approved for a personal loan has to look for alternatives. In addition to looking at viable alternatives, serious thought must go into making any decisions. This prudent approach may help with avoiding a number of problems — financial ones — that otherwise might occur.

How to Save Money on a Long-Distance Motorcycle Road Trip

As a motorcyclist, you know that road trips are better on two wheels. You’ve got freedom. When everyone else is stuck in gridlock, you’re able to weave your way out of traffic. You can pretty much park everywhere, and your bike is harder to tow than a car or truck. Certainly, there are plenty of advantages to driving a motorcycle, but that doesn’t mean road trips are any cheaper.

Overall, motorcycle ownership is less expensive than owning another vehicle type; however, you don’t have a ton of storage, which means you can’t take many supplies on the road with you. This has the potential to make long-distance trips a bit more costly. Typical costs include fuel, food, accommodations, and insurance. Employ the following strategies to help you save on these costs and more. Then, you can brag to all your friends, who still drive on four wheels, about how much better it is to ride a bike.

Look For Insurance Savings

Before you hit the road, make sure you’re not overpaying for motorcycle insurance. Although basic liability is the cheapest coverage, this is limited insurance. It only covers expenses for others, so if you’re in an accident, personal injury and property damage (damage to your bike) won’t be covered if you’re at fault. To get the most comprehensive coverage at a price you can afford, compare rates and look for discounts, such as bundling car, home, and motorcycle insurance.

More ways to save:

  • Increase your deductible.
  • Take a motorcycle safety class.
  • Join a motorcycle club, such as Harley Owners Group, and take advantage of the group’s insurance discounts.

Improve Your Gas Mileage

You’ll use less gas when you’re obeying the rules of the road. Fight the urge to hastily accelerate; instead, maintain your speed and avoid quick breaking. You can also employ the help of a navigating app, which will tell you the fastest route to your destination. You will probably want to get off the beaten path to sightsee, but whenever possible, take advantage of shorter routes and flat stretches of road to save on fuel.

Don’t wait until you’re nearing empty to fill up. This is going to limit you to whatever gas station is nearby. Gas stations are notorious for increasing prices when they’re located nearby a highway exit. If you look for competitive pricing on gas, you can ensure you’re never overpaying. Check out this list of apps that can help: 5 best apps to find cheap gas.

Save Money on Food and Accommodations

Motorcycles don’t have enough storage to keep you satiated on your journey. This means you’ll do most of your eating on the road. Before you head out, make a note of diners and other low-cost restaurants on the way. You should also note grocery and convenience stores. Whenever possible, pop into a grocery store and pick up a few items that will fit in your bag and keep you going for a couple meals, such as bread and lunch meat.

As for accommodations, you’re going to get the most comfort from a hotel or motel; however, these tend to be pricey. To save, consider staying at a hostel or Airbnb property. There are apps that allow you to search for couch surfing opportunities, which are typically free, but it may be dangerous to trust a stranger. Some people see these apps as an opportunity for sexual encounters, which is a bit weird and has led to a decline in their use.

Final Thoughts

Your motorcycle’s manual will tell you when maintenance should be scheduled. For example, it may recommend that you replace the chain and sprockets at 15,000 miles. It may even tell you where to find the best motorcycle batteries for your particular make and model. You can avoid costly repairs if you follow the manual’s advice. Regular maintenance should help prevent breakdowns, which cost a lot. Overall, be safe on the road and take advantage of savings wherever you can find them. If you’re keeping a budget, stick to it and you should be fine.

Squatters’ Rights: What to do When a Squatter has moved into Your Vacant Home

buy-a-house

You’ve been away for a few months and now you get to sleep in your own bed. You open the door and guess what? There’s someone in your house. They’re using your bathroom, sitting on your couch and cooking in your kitchen. They’re squatters. Squatters are people who take residence on a vacated property that doesn’t belong to them. It’s not a new craze, It’s as old as homeownership itself. Squatters have taken over single-person homes all the way up to entire neighborhoods.

While squatting isn’t new to America, it has become more common following the 2008 recession, which resulted in more than 5.4 million mortgages becoming delinquent or going into foreclosure. Many families ended up homeless as a direct result. Although the economy has since improved, there are still many reports of squatters. Las Vegas authorities received over 4,000 squatter complaints in 2015, which was more than double the number of reports received in Las Vegas in 2012.

What Not to Do

When you happen upon a squatter on your property, it is important to stick to the right side of the law. Don’t:

  • Attempt to keep the squatter off your property by putting padlocks on the doors.
  • Try to get rid of them by shutting off the utilities. Squatters wouldn’t be living in your house if they weren’t desperate. They will probably look for an alternative way to access these utilities. This may include improvising, which could result in the destruction of your property.
  • Attempt to intimidate them. They may cause you harm in retaliation.

How to Handle Squatters the Right Way

If your home is going to be vacated for a long period at a time, make sure that your property is secure while you’re away. However, if you do find a squatter on your property, here’s what you should do:

  1. Contact the authorities

Your first reaction should be to call the police. Don’t wait. Allowing a squatter to continue living on your property with your knowledge will be interpreted as consent of the living arrangements by the court. It is therefore important to let the police know as soon as possible that there is a trespasser on your property.

The police may not remove the squatter from your house. This is because it is considered a civil matter. However, they will help you begin the process of eviction.

  1. Give a notice of eviction

Give the squatter a notice for eviction. If you’re lucky, the squatter will leave having been served with the notice.

  1. File for an unlawful detainer action

If the eviction notice doesn’t get rid of your squatter, you’ll have to take it a step further and file a lawsuit for unlawful detainer. You may need the assistance of a lawyer to make sure that state law is followed to the letter. This will begin the formal proceedings for an eviction.

  1. Seek law enforcement to evict the squatter

If the squatter continues to persist, you’ll need to seek out local law enforcement to get him off the property. Never engage with the squatter or try to force them off the property yourself. Leave this to the proper authorities.

When you regain your home, invest in measures to keep it secure, this will include updating your homeowners insurance policy to include coverage for a vacated home will protect your home if any damage is done by a squatter.

Protect your house, home and family just by following the above, it’s not too hard.