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Card sign-up bonuses: 3 Important points to know before cashing in

Card sign-up bonuses: 3 Important points to know before cashing in

Credit card sign-up bonus has become very popular these days. Many credit card companies offer sign-up bonuses for opening a new card. You may get rewards like cash back, points, double cash back, miles, free hotel stay, etc. All the sign-up bonuses are enticing. Many people are applying for a credit card just to get those sign-up bonuses. But there is a big catch that they might not be aware of.

The catch is, to get the bonus, you need to spend a certain amount on the card within a stipulated time after opening the account.

Apart from this, many terms and conditions are there behind the card sign-up bonuses.

Gary Leff, the writer of the “View from the Wing” said, “The bigger the bonus, the higher the spending requirement. Minimum spending requirements can range from less than $1,000 to $5,000 or even more. It’s fairly common to see offers in which you must spend $3,000 in 3 months.”

Here are other untold credit card sign-up bonuses catch you need to know beforehand.

1. Understand the offer’s terms and conditions

As I have said in the introduction that getting the sign-up bonuses is costly. You have to spend a certain amount within a certain period to get the sign-up bonus.

So, the truth is credit card sign-up bonuses is pushing you to overspend.

So, if you want to apply for a credit card just to get rewards, then think twice. Make sure you know every term beforehand. Try to know how much you have to spend to get the point or cash back.

After knowing the exact amount, ask yourself whether or not you are comfortable spending the particular amount within the stipulated time.

If your answer is yes, then go ahead and apply for the credit card to get the rewards. If you think you are able to spend $3000 within the time, then leave the idea of applying for a new credit card.

2. Not all spending will go on your new card

Remember, not every dollar of your spending will go on the new card.

Often, mortgage servicers, insurance companies, local utility companies, and landlords charge a certain fee to pay by a credit card; and it will cancel some of the benefits of a sign-up bonus.

3. Know the exact timeline

The terms and conditions of sign-up bonuses varies from one company to another. The common rule is that the credit card holder needs to spend a certain amount in a fixed period.

The catch is, knowing the “fixed period” is very tricky.

Make sure you know the period for meeting the minimum spending criteria to get the rewards.

It is advisable to ask the credit card company about it. The company will tell you in detail and also inform you regarding the spending progress you have made for the sign-up bonus.

Lastly, the cards with good sign-up bonuses usually come with annual fees.

Don’t assume that the annual fees will count as your spending; only your purchases count. Card related charges and fees are excluded from the spending goal. However, be aware of credit card debt. Don’t purchase things that you can’t afford; otherwise, the credit card debt trap is waiting for your grand entry.

By carol on May 12th, 2017

How to pursue a good credit card behavior and fulfill financial goals

How to pursue a good credit card behavior and fulfill financial goals

Credit cards are both beneficial and harmful in our modern finance world. You can free yourself from the need for cash, use it to build a good credit score, and buy anything/anywhere easily. But you must know that credit cards can easily accumulate huge debts and harm your credit score.

Getting your first or a new credit card is easy, but to maintain that card you’ll need intelligence, deep insight, and planning. If you become careful, you may fulfill your big financial goals through good credit card behaviors.

Here are some:

1. Using online banking facility

Today most of the banks offer online banking facility. So, you must also register your credit card for online use. By doing so, you can check your account activity anytime and can also track your spending. This is a better option than having your monthly statements, as we often forget our expenses. Checking accounts online will help you to monitor your spending and keep your finances under budget. Moreover, banks also develop apps that let consumers check accounts and pay credit card bills by using smart phones from anywhere.

2. Setting notifications or reminders

Being a responsible credit card user, you must update yourself about spending and payment history. If possible for you, pay off your credit card bills on the day you receive it. If it’s not possible, try to set a reminder on your smartphone or PC calendar regarding your credit card payment dates. This way you can get SMS’s or other notifications and pay your credit card bill on time.

3. Making small activities

It is wise to use cash rather than credit cards. But you also need to keep in mind that by using credit cards, you are actually boosting your credit score. So, you must use your active credit cards at least once in a month. Using those high-end cards will boost your score and you’ll be benefited from the purchases you make.

4. Paying up in full

The best way to handle your credit card is paying in full or as much as possible for you. This helps you to pay off the total bill every month without incurring any penalty.

But, this particular credit card behavior is not suitable for everyone. Not everyone can empty their wallet and put all the money towards credit card bill, at least not in every month.

Through this behavior you can keep your credit debts minimum along with winning more good credit points. You may also be eligible for future lower interest rates from other lenders and credit card companies.

Remember, your credit card is designed to help you buy anytime, anywhere without paying a single dollar in cash.

5. Negotiating other charges

After considering its rate of interest, you must decide if you want to keep a credit card with you or just depend upon cash. Interest rates may vary according to different card providers and different cards, but usually they are negotiable.

As early as you can build an outstanding payment history (with full and on time payments), you can start negotiating with your credit card provider for reducing your annual fees and other charges.

6. Not closing old cards

Cutting up old or extra credit cards might look like a wise decision to prevent yourself from accumulating more debt. But, do you have any idea that this could damage your credit score in other ways?

Closing an older credit account will reduce your credit history and harm your credit score deeply. The length of your overall credit history makes up 15% of your credit rating. Closing an older card will simply shorten the history associated with your score and negatively affect it.

So, if you really want to close some credit accounts, it’s smarter to remove newer cards rather than older ones.

Read more:

What are you doing wrong when it comes to credit cards?
Credit card lost or stolen – What should you do in such a situation?
How to manage your credit cards in 2017

By carol on April 28th, 2017

What are you doing wrong when it comes to credit cards?

What are you doing wrong when it comes to credit cards?

Now, for many of you, rampant usage of credit cards has become a way of life. Many of you now prefer to carry plastic money instead of liquid cash. Though some of you use credit cards wisely, it is also seen that many people use credit cards instinctively.

If you don’t pay much attention while using credit cards, you may find yourself falling into a financial problem. This puts financial as well as mental stress on you.

To avoid such stress, you should be aware of some common credit card mistakes that you often commit.

Read carefully:

1. Using credit cards for buying necessary items

You should follow a realistic budget. It is foolish to purchase necessary items by using a credit card.

Random usage of credit cards and piling credit card bills may cause credit card debt.

If you are not able to pay off your credit card bills on time, then you will incur interest on that purchase. Remember, credit cards should be used only to meet the expenses of some unintended contingencies.

2. Keeping too many credit cards

One of the common financial blunders that you often commit is keeping too many credit cards. Holding too many credit cards is not a good sign. This may provoke you to use credit cards for unnecessary purposes. You may get into a credit card debt trap shortly.

3. Making late payments

Making late payments on your outstanding debts is indeed a very big mistake that you commit quite often. In this case, you need to make late payment charges. Also, it has serious negative implications. It adversely affects your credit report and damages your credit score badly. This, in turn, jeopardize your prospects of getting better terms for future loans.

4. Using credit cards for paying medical bills

Medical costs are huge in the country. If you indeed face difficulty in paying your medical bills, you can negotiate with the hospital whom you owe money. But it is recommended that you should not use credit cards to pay your medical bills.

5. Ignoring monthly statement

Take the credit card statement seriously. The statement shows you whether or not the charges documented are correct. So, you can check whether or not there is any mistake. Moreover, in this era of increasing identity theft, what you need to do is to check the statement minutely. And the sooner you do it, the better it is for you.

Checking the credit card statement helps you to know whether or not you have exceeded the credit limit as well.

6. Taking out cash advances

This is a very costly thing that you frequently do with a credit card. The fees associated with cash advances are very steep and the rate of interest is also very high.

Don’t take out cash advances with a credit card, unless and until there is an absolute emergency.

Lastly, using a credit card is not bad. If the credit cards are used responsibly and sensibly, they can do a lot of good to you.

By carol on April 14th, 2017

4 Ways to turn unwanted gift cards into cash

4 Ways to turn unwanted gift cards into cash

Often people receive gift cards that they know they are not going to use. Why so? One of the common reasons is the gift card they get for a store at which they never shop. Maybe the shop location is too far from their way or too expensive.

The result is, piles of unused gift cards in your chest of drawers, which is a waste of money.

But why will you waste gift cards that you got from your dear or near ones when there are options to get value for them?

What will you do?

Sell unwanted gift cards for some cash – No more wasting that $25 or $30 gift cards that you received from your aunt or grandma.

You can get cashback of 60% to 90% depending on where you sell the cards.

Easy ways you can turn gift cards into cash

1. Find out online gift card resellers

These days, a number of online gift card resellers come with the cash offer for unwanted gift cards. Generally, a gift card’s balance should be at least $20. You need to mail the card or submit the gift card’s code electronically to get the payment.

You can sell gift cards at cardpool.com, giftcardgranny.com, cardcash.com, giftcardzen.com etc.

Online auctions, classified ads, or social media platforms are also good places to sell your gift cards. However, be aware of fraud activities while selling gift cards online.

2. Visit mall kiosks

Visit a kiosk at your local mall to sell your cards. You can get at least 75% of the card’s value. You will get immediate cash, which is the best part of selling gifts cards at kiosks.

3. Access your favorite grocery store

Now, many grocery stores keep an automated gift card buying machine. You can sell your gift cards using that machine.

Follow these steps:

  1. Insert the card
  2. Accept the offer
  3. Collect the voucher
  4. Handover the voucher to the cashier for cash

4. Consider Coinstar exchange

You can get cash for your unused gift cards at Coinstar. Insert your gift card in the yellow colored Coinstar exchange machine to know how much money you will get.

Coinstar gives up to 85% of the value of the card.

Submit the receipt at the counter of the store to get the cash.

Things to know to turn the gift cards into cash

Turning gift cards into cash may sound simple, but you have to be extra watchful when dealing it with.

You need to show identity proof

You need to be prepared to show identification including a phone number, driver license/state ID card, credit card and an email address in the process of turning gift cards into cash.

Research well before you proceed

All gift cards buying websites are different when it comes to price and payment policy.

Some companies offer a good price but don’t give immediate cash. On the other hand, some companies offer 50%-70% gift card value but give you instant cash.

So, it is advisable to read customers review and research before selling gift cards online.

Finally, before selling gift cards online to any company, check out the merchant’s website carefully. Make sure the merchant have clear contact information.

Reliability and reachability and good customer services are the benchmarks of a good online company.

By carol on March 31st, 2017

Is it difficult for millennials to overcome subprime credit?

Is it difficult for millennials to overcome subprime credit?

The lenders categorize the credit scores into several segments, which denote how risky it’d be to approve credit to an individual. Apart from loan or credit approvals, credit scores can also affect lending terms, such as applicable interest rates. The higher a person’s credit score, the lower his/her quoted APR will typically be.

Credit scores can be categorized in the following divisions:

  • 720 or more: Excellent
  • 660 – 719: Average/Fair (Prime)
  • 620 – 659: Poor (Near Prime)
  • 620 or lower: Bad (Subprime)

As per a report released by the Corporation For Enterprise Development (CFED), the majority of the population or 56% of the consumers have subprime credit scores. In general, younger Americans are more likely to have “subprime credit” (as described by TransUnion). There are few factors like age, spending habits and others that make the young people deprived from good credit score.

Let’s check out why millennials have subprime credit:

1. Credit utilization

One big reason is that millennials use too much of their available credit. As per the TransUnion it is nearly 79%. Credit utilization plays a major role in credit scoring. So, if a person who earns $1000 in a month and pays off $790 in debt, his debt-to-income ratio will be quite high. As a result his credit score will fall through time.

2. Credit history

Having a long credit history is very important. It is one of the deciding factors in credit scores – the older the credit history you have, the more it’ll provide benefits to you. As millennials are the young generation, most of them lacks of long credit history.

3. Credit mix

Consumers have two types of debt, a) revolving and b) installment. Revolving debts consists of debts with variable payments per month, like – credit card debts. Installment debts consists of fixed installments like mortgage or car loan. Millennials have to maintain a good credit mix and divide their debts in different types. If they don’t, it’ll affect their credit score badly.

How millennials can build their credit score again

So if you’re a millennial with subprime credit, there are few things you need to do to improve your credit score again:

a. Lower your credit utilization

Use less of your available credit (try to maintain the max credit utilization ratio of 30% or less).

b. Make on-time payments

Make payments on time and if possible in full. It’ll keep away negative items from your credit report.

c. Maintain credit accounts for a long time

The older you maintain your accounts, the more they’ll help you to improve credit score. Keep your accounts open even if you don’t use them often. Trust me, it’ll be beneficial.

e. Diversify your debts

Spread your debt across revolving and installment debt accounts.

f. Get help from other parties

If you are facing credit issues, you don’t have to tackle it alone. You can ask help from professional agencies who can manage your accounts, review your credit, settle issues with the credit bureaus and lenders.

g. Get rent payments reported to credit bureaus

By this way the credit bureaus will be informed about your regular rent payments. As a result, it may help your credit score to grow.

Millennial credit scores are affected because of bad financial habits, age, and short credit history. However, through smart credit habits, millennials can manage their financial issues and take control of their credit. It’s not easy to pull ourselves up from the subprime credit level, but if we work wisely and understand all the possible actions, we can build a great credit score through time.

Read more:
How to manage your credit cards in 2017
7 ways to improve credit score while having burden of debt on your back

By carol on March 17th, 2017

When is it wise to pay the minimum balances?

When is it wise to pay the minimum balances?

Being debt free is one of the most important things to improve your financial life. So, you need to focus on paying all of your major debts in full like – home loan, car loan, medical bills, and particularly credit card debts.

But, there are few instances where it is wise enough to pay only the minimum balances on your credit card. It is because the minimum payments can be a short term solution to your other financial issues.

Have a look at them:

1. You don’t have savings for emergencies

You must have some savings to meet emergency expenses. Generally, you need to save 3 to 4 months’ expenses or least $500 in your account for the emergency purpose. To maintain that amount, it is fairly acceptable that you make only the minimum payment on credit cards.

Without having that fund, you’ll be thinking about using your cards more, if you need money for sudden home repair jobs. Maintaining sufficient emergency fund can also help you to build money saving habits.

But, once you reach your minimum saving amount ($500 or more), try to jump back on your full payments again.

2. You have a fixed hardship coming your way

Sometimes we can predict bad situations that are coming our way. As a result, we make arrangements for the hardships we’ll face in the future.

For example – If you feel that you might lose your job due to some social (divorce issues) or economic (inflation) problems, then you need to save money for upcoming financial crunch. For that, you can make minimum payments and save the extra for the future.

So, it’s good if you lower your monthly credit card debt payments and gather money to repair your old car if it gives you signs of breakdown. Once the expense or hardship has passed, turn back to your regular full payments on your credit card balances.

3. You are behind on child support payments or owe the IRS

If you ignore your tax payments, you’ll definitely face some financial consequences in form of extra interest and penalties.

For example – If you fail to make payments to the IRS, your wages will be garnished, you’ll have a tax lien on your properties, and you might spend few days in prison.

Similarly, as a parent, you must pay your child support regularly to avoid penalties such as passport denial, having income withheld, or suspension of your driving license.

So, in both the above-mentioned cases, it is worth to pay the minimum balances towards your credit card bills and put the extra money towards IRS and child support.

4. You have medical bills to pay off

As per the latest survey (2016) by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the New York Times, on an average, 20% working people have health insurance and the rest uninsured people have issues regarding medical bill debts. The survey also reveals that people are spending much more towards medical expenses than they did in the last few decades.

So, to keep that cost under control, you need to free up a decent amount of money every month. To gather that amount, it’s considerable to pay a minimum balance on your credit card. But don’t forget to roll back to your regular payments when the crisis ends.

5. A peculiar debt causing depression

Sometimes a particular debt may trigger emotional distress.

For example – Money borrowed from a close friend or a credit card debt where a collection agent is bothering you daily.

So, in these cases, psychological reasons are way bigger than financial reasons. If paying back the entire debt amount to your loved ones give you mental relief, that’ll be the primary thing you need to do first. It is something that can give you a peaceful sleep at night. After paying off those debts, you may roll back again to your regular payment schedule.

6. You have other huge debt payments queued up

It is wise to pay the minimum balance on your credit card when it has a low interest rate. Instead of paying credit cards in full, you can engage that money to pay off other huge debts like a car loan or home loan. It’s quite logical to reduce the high-interest debts rather than your nominal credit card bills. This situation also happens when a credit card company offers 0% APR introductory rate.

But don’t forget, this might be a temporary situation. Your credit card interest rates might become high again. Once it happens, start making more payment than the minimum.

7. Lucrative investment opportunities

In your entire life span, you may encounter this situation often. You may find good investment opportunity with a good return that will compensate your credit card interest.

So, it is acceptable to reduce your credit card payment and allocate the money to gain more profit. However, it is tough to find a risk-free investment that’ll generate such an attractive return.

Read more: How to manage your credit cards in 2017

By carol on March 3rd, 2017

First Credit Card: 6 Tips to avoid high fees and interest rates

First Credit Card: 6 Tips to avoid high fees and interest rates

Applying for the “first” credit card can be exciting, but challenging. A credit card is convenient and also helps to build up a credit history. But you have to be careful while dealing with it. Using a credit card signifies that you’re borrowing money from a third party, which you need to pay off within a definite time.

You have to be aware of some factors before buying your first credit card. For example, the credit card you choose needs to have the lowest fees and interest rate. Also, the card should provide some benefits and perks based on the usage.

Here are some ways you can avoid high fees and interest rates when applying for first credit card.

1. Build up a good credit history to avoid higher interest rates

Having a good credit score is important to become eligible for the best credit card. The higher your score, the better deal you’ll get.

There are many other ways you can build up a good credit score without using credit cards. One of the ways is opting for a credit-builder loan. Handling a credit-builder loan in a proper way can improve your credit score.

If your credit score is 700 to 800, then you can get a credit card with the best interest rate. The credit card company can charge a higher interest rate even if your credit score is below 700 and above 600.

As per the expert’s recommendation, you should apply for a secured credit card if your credit score is below 680.

So, you need to review your credit report regularly because there might be mistakes, which can affect your credit score negatively.

If you find out an error, dispute it with the credit reporting agencies as soon as possible.

2. Go for a secured credit card

If you’re a first timer who is not sure how to manage a credit card, then a secured credit card is for you. It provides a limited amount of credit to you for use. The amount you can get based on some factors like how much you have deposited, your income and your ability to pay.

A secured credit card is similar to a debit card to some extent but serves a credit card’s purpose. However, it is a good option to get entry into the credit card’s world.

Using your secured credit card and managing it properly allows to build up a good credit score. Thus, you can take out your first conventional credit card with favorable terms and conditions in the future.

According to the Gerri Detweiler, head of market education for Nav, “There might be a notation that it’s a secured card, but for credit-scoring purposes, they’re all treated the same. So if you’re worried about running into debt, this might be a good option.”

3. Research well when choosing your first credit card

Getting the best credit card is tough, but you should try at your best. Search online to compare fees and interest rate before purchasing your first credit card. Try to get a credit card that charges lower fees or no annual fees. Remember, annual fees of a credit card can vary from $0 to $75 in a year. You need to pick a card that charges lower fees. Also look for a credit card that gives benefits (Bonus points on purchases, and rewards point).

4. Take advantage of a student credit card

Try to get a student credit card; it provides a variety of benefits like lower fees and cash back opportunity. Some student credit cards come with a 0% APR as well.

5. Pick the right credit card

Now, you will find many credit cards such as cash back credit card, travel credit card, gas credit card, and store credit card. You have to pick the right one as per your lifestyle and budget.

For example, if you travel frequently, then go for a travel reward credit card to earn bonus points. A gas credit card is for people who drive a lot. Remember, these cards are good to earn points but charge higher annual fees than usual. However, a retail or store credit card is best for first-time credit card user or who haven’t established a credit history. Getting approval for a store credit card is easier than others as well.

6. know the terms and conditions of your credit card

Before buying your first credit card, you should read the terms and conditions properly. The terms vary company to company. So, make sure to read and understand all the terms beforehand.

Finally, you have to pay the minimum balance within the time to avoid late payment charges. Remember, even the best credit card can add up if you don’t manage it properly. So, keep the credit limit low and use it whenever you need it. Also, don’t use the credit card for cash advances, you’ll be charged higher interest rate.

By carol on February 17th, 2017

Credit card lost or stolen – What should you do in such a situation?

Credit card lost or stolen – What should you do in such a situation?

Amongst the list of things that you never want to lose, credit cards are one of them. However, if your credit card is lost or stolen, then you should notify the card company as soon as you can.

A lost or stolen credit card has the possibility to cause a lot of damage, particularly if you have a good credit limit. You will never want to damage your credit at someone else’s hand, and so, it’s vitally important that you know what you should do if your credit card gets lost or stolen.

4 Things you should do when your credit card gets lost or stolen

Though you don’t want such a thing to happen, yet thousands of consumers are facing such problems every day.

Taking the right steps immediately after your card gets lost or stolen will protect your rights and reduce harassment.

Read on to know the 4 things you should do when your credit card gets lost or stolen.

1. Lodge a complaint to the police

If your credit card is stolen, you should inform the police about it as early as you can. Reporting the police without delay may increase the odds that the thief will be found and brought to justice, particularly if you can give a good description of the doer.

While lodging your complaint to the police, make it a point to get a copy of the report, since you may have to send it to the credit card issuer.

2. Call up your credit card company

You should call up the agent of your credit card company as you find your card is missing or after a theft. You’ll have to inform the agent that you’ve lost your card and try to give as much information as you can about the theft or loss.

The card agent will renew your account and issue you a new credit card with a new number.

3. Evaluate the charges you will have to pay

It is important on your part to sign into your account and evaluate the charges you’ll have to pay after your card gets lost or stolen. You can access your account online and assess every charge very carefully.

Keep in mind that those unauthorized charges may not be the large ones.

Thieves often make small purchases initially with your credit card in order to test your card’s validity and then make big purchases after they know that they have a good card number.

4. Dispute the false charges on your credit card

If you find any fraudulent charges on your lost or stolen credit card, you should get in touch with the credit card agent at once to report those unauthorized deals.

Once the bank gets notified of those fraudulent charges, it will start its investigation and remove the charges you didn’t approve.

Be sure to provide a daytime telephone number to the card agent so that the bank can contact you with any additional questions as it does the inquiry.

These are the important things you should do if your credit card has got lost or stolen.

By carol on February 3rd, 2017

My spouse has a bad credit: How will it affect me?

If I tie the knot someone with bad credit, how will this affect me?

Many soon to be wedded couple are now concerned about the above line. Why so? You can’t discuss the financial matter because marriage is a bonding of two souls – this is now a myth. Rather, before saying “Yes, I do”, discussing finance related topics like credit standing, outstanding debts, savings, and future goals, are now considered as wise decisions.

What will happen to your credit when you tie the knot?

A marriage will not affect credit score directly, but there are some ways it can affect your financial life.

Here’s how:

1. Your partner’s credit history will not appear in your report

The credit history of your partner will not appear on your credit report; neither will your credit history appear on your partner’s credit report.

2. Changing your last name will not affect your credit history

Changing the last name after getting married doesn’t mean your credit history will be erased and you have to start with a new credit history. If you change your last name and report the changes to your creditors, then you can see some updates on your credit reports. So, it is advisable to check credit reports this time to avoid inaccuracies.

3. Your credit score will be same after marriage

Your credit score will not drop if you marry a person with a bad credit history. Neither will your credit score improve simply because your partner’s credit score is good.

4. Lenders can check both of your scores for joints accounts

If you plan to set up a joint account or a joint purchase, then both of your credit scores can be checked.

If you apply for a loan to buy a big-ticket item like a car, mortgage, lenders can check both of your credit reports and/or score before lending you money.

So, couples with bad credit can get more rejections. In case the application gets an approval, the interest rate and fees may be higher than usual.

5. Both of you are liable for debts in case of joint accounts

In case of joint accounts, both the spouses are responsible for the loan payments. If the account gets delinquent, then the lender has rights to collect the outstanding amount from both the spouses.

6. Expect late achievements due to spouse’s poor credit rating

Married couple often build big dreams for the future. Your spouse’s poor credit score can delay in achieving big dreams and may require patience.

What should you do when your spouse has bad credit?

Handling finances in a marriage isn’t a piece of cake. Sometimes it’s become complicated due to many factors. One of the major factors is one of the spouse’s bad credit.

However, you need not be worry about it. Taking some steps can help your spouse to build a good credit score.

Read carefully:

Ask your spouse to check credit report

Mistakes on the credit report are quite common; but, it can be dangerous for the credit score. So, you must tell your spouse to review his/her credit report (from each of the major credit bureaus) every year. In case there are some mistakes, dispute them.

Inspire your spouse to get rid of debts fast

Your must encourage your spouse to pay off the debts, especially credit card debts. Because high credit utilization affects the credit score negatively. Ask your spouse to pay off the higher interest debts first. You can follow the debt avalanche method; it works well to pay off the highest interest debt while paying the minimum balance on the rest of the debts. Make sure you don’t miss any single payment; otherwise, the credit rating may take a dip.

Automate your spouse’s bills to avoid late or miss payments

Remember, 35% of the credit score is based on how the person pays the bill. Late payments or missed payments is one of the major determining factors for the credit score. So, if your spouse often makes late payments, then set up automatic bill payments to avoid such inconvenience.

Ask your spouse to apply for a secured credit card

A secured card is backed by a certain amount of cash deposit. Using a secured credit card will help your spouse to build credit without incurring debts.

Lastly, knowing your partner financially before tying the knot is very important. Thus, you can take proper financial steps without making any blunders.

For example:

If you and your spouse have a different credit score, then you have to be extra watchful when dealing with the credit-based application. You should know when to apply jointly or separately to get the best rate.

Read more:

Why you should know your spouse’s credit score
7 ways to improve credit score while having burden of debt on your back

By carol on January 20th, 2017

5 Money quirks that can make you financially ill

5 Money quirks that can make you financially ill

If we go through the definition, a quirk is nothing but unnatural gesture or behaving. You may believe it or not, our financial quirks practically harm our life. To be more precise, we are damaging our financial life with our own hands.

Many of us feel ourselves financially vulnerable, and often fear about money matters. We use various ways to make the things right. Sooner or later, these ways often become drastic financial habits.

Do you believe your financial habits need attention? Try to find answers of these below-given questions and evaluate yourself:

1. Are you getting affected by the money quirks negatively?
2. Does it take too much hard work to stop the quirk?
3. Do your loved ones also getting worried about you due to your money habits?
4. Is your money quirk hampering your work, relationship, or other things?

If all of the above-mentioned questions indicate towards the answer “YES”, then let’s put some light on those money quirks or bad financial habits:

1. Avoiding the issue

One of the most significant bad financial habits that can lead you into serious financial hardship is ignoring that issue at all cost. People somehow manage to block their minds and ignore account statements, balances, or credit score. As a result, they miss important financial changes, starting from monthly payment due date to false buying.

If you don’t track your money, it’ll lead you to many serious issues that can damage your finances, including your credit score. So, being ignorant about your financial health is not wise.

2. Stress spending

Another bad would be spending like freaks. More or less all of us have experienced a time when we spent like hell due to the heat of the moment. But, when we realized our mistake, it was too late. As a result, we are getting stressed and start spending more.

The concept is like – “Oh, I’ve already messed up, some more will have no effect on me.”

This is bad. We need to stop ourselves the moment we realize that we are spending limitless. Don’t go with the flow, or else you’ll kill your finances soon.

3. Spending due to anxiety

An anxiety disorder may cause abnormal spending behavior. Some people may feel temporary relaxation by personalized spending. It’ll make them feel like a person they actually like to be. As a result, people spend more to get out of their anxiety.

So, you must treat the core problem, your anxiety. If you don’t, you’ll ruin your credit over a series of unwanted things.

4. Ignoring your future

Being teenagers, we often ignore thinking about our future at the very beginning of our live. We earn, we spend like hell, save very little and forget everything.

But when we reach our 30s and plan for marriage and kids, we realize what a grave mistake we have done in our early life. We will require funds to meet emergency expenses but we don’t have that much saving.

Saving money is an integral part of our future planning along with marriage, kids and everything else that we could have in future. If we don’t save today, there will be nothing left to spend tomorrow.

5. Living under the shadow

No matter what we have done in the past, we must recover ourselves from their shadow. We can control our habits, and change the way we treat our finances all the time.

So, learn how to control your impulses, change your unnatural spending behavior and concentrate on saving.

Few important money-managing tips:

a. Try to place your bills in your wallets in as per the date. It’ll help you to find the bill that you need to pay immediately. You can also order them by denomination.

b. Always wrap the smallest bill around larger bills. This way you won’t forget any single bill, not even worth a dollar.

c. Don’t always try to buy goods in “twos.” If possible, pick only one while shopping. Some people have a weird tendency to like things in pairs. Somehow, they tend to gather things in even numbers rather than odd ones.

Make sure that you find the reason behind your insane money habits. Don’t ignore the matter and take it seriously.

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By carol on January 6th, 2017