Posts tagged: credit

The Pros And Cons Of Your First Credit Card

money cardsYour first credit card is milestone in being able to stand on your own two feet. Not only can you improve your credit score, making mortgages more available to you, you can afford more bills and groceries each week, and you have plenty of backup cash in storage just in case of an emergency. However, we all know it isn’t simply sunshine and roses, so we need to think about the benefits and drawbacks of having a credit card. If you’re a young adult or someone older who never got the chance to before, and you’re just deciding to invest in a card of your own, here’s the biggest things for you to consider.

The Pro: Credit Cards Have Reward Systems

Credit cards, the more you use them, often have rewards for you to use at the end of the week or month. This makes them a lot more useful when it comes to shopping, and provides a little more incentive to use a credit card in a healthy manner. For your first card, looking into the systems each provider offers can require a bit of shopping around (to make sure you can use them for all purchases), so don’t make any decisions based on simple want alone!

The amount of different cards there out there means rewards can vary wildly from person to person. For example, with this in mind, you can get a variety of things on your credit card use, such as cashback for the standard types, or free flights for people using a travelling orientated card. It’s often a good idea to have more than one card in your possession, as being able to handle more than one at a time shows off how versatile and responsible you can be with money. It also means more rewards!

The Con: Debt Can Pile Up

Let’s face it, we can lie to ourselves a lot when it comes to money: ‘I need a new TV’ or ‘A few more dog treats won’t hurt!’ Even just thinking about the hypotheticals shows off how many different walks of life can bring in some debt when we let ourselves lose control.

At its core, credit is predatory, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use it safely. With this in mind, we can all agree that debt is a big drawback of using a credit card, and using your available credit too much is dangerous. Even the fact that credit card consolidation loans exist suggests that this is a common habit for people to fall into, so be aware of making excuses for yourself to use your credit card.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the amount of options there are on the market for getting a credit card. They’re there to help you rather than hinder you, and there’s no trap for you to fall into when you fully research terms and conditions, and any better alternatives! Balancing a checkbook gets easier and easier when information is so accessible like this.

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Are House Prices Likely To Go Down?

balance house pricesWhenever you hear people talk about the housing market it’s all doom and gloom. Prices have been rising consistently for years and there’s a serious fear that a whole generation of young people isn’t ever going to be able to afford a house. Last year was set to be a positive one for housing and an increase in house building was predicted, but the reality is, that didn’t happen. Things did improve a little but not as much as we hoped they would. So, it doesn’t look good at the moment and it feels like it’s never going to get better, but is that really true? Nobody knows for sure but these are some of the major predictions from experts.

Prices Will Rise, But Not As Much

This is good news and bad news. Prices rose by a significant amount every month last year, especially in the latter half of the year. Some people predict that trend will continue, but the increases will slow right down. There are a couple of reasons for this prediction. Firstly, unemployment is going down and people are able to afford houses more easily. Demand is stronger and there will be a slight increase in the number of people that are actually buying houses.

Another factor to consider is the number of people opting for alternative housing situations. More people are opting for prefabricated mobile homes, sometimes called mobile homes. These are far cheaper because the components are made separately, shipped over, and constructed on site. The impact of this is minimal but people choosing to go for alternative housing is going to alleviate some of the strain in terms of housing shortage. It also means that houses can be built far more quickly.

On the other hand, real estate as an investment is on the rise so if all of the houses are being bought up by investors, prices could carry on increasing.

This prediction is good news overall because what they’re essentially saying is that, while there won’t be an immediate turnaround in house prices, we’re coming toward the top of the peak and will soon start to see a downturn in prices.

Affordability Will Go Down

Wages are forecasted to grow in some of the larger cities in America which you would think is good news for buying houses, unfortunately it’s not. The amount of homes that are affordable to somebody on a medium income isn’t growing. That means they are unable to access the cities where wages are growing in the first place, so they can’t get the higher wages they need to buy a house. This disparity is one of the biggest problems in the housing market at the moment. Even if house building does increase this year, they aren’t likely to build the affordable housing that is needed to redress that imbalance.

Credit Availability Could Improve

After the crash of 2008, the availability of credit was regulated more strictly in order to avoid the same thing again. However, the new Trump administration has floated plans to roll back a lot of that regulation so banks will be more free to lend money again. It could go one of two ways; either they’ll start lending more freely and people might be able to afford to buy a house, or they may carry on operating the way that they are at the moment.

There’s no telling exactly what will happen with the housing market but these are three of the best theories so far.

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Negotiating and Settling Debt: Tips for Talking to Creditors

settlement with creditorsWhen money is tight, and your expenses are high, you may find yourself in a pickle with creditors. It’s often an inevitable part of life as you learn and progress – but when the creditors are more than just one or two, the problem seems to snowball a bit too fast. It’s impossible to keep up with, the phone never keeps quiet, and life seems so very unfair.

You can solve it all in one go, though, by learning how to communicate effectively with those dreaded people on the other end of the line and negotiate a good deal.

Here is a handful of the best advice from money experts out there, giving you and your finances some peace of mind at last.

Be honest to generate sympathy

So creditors may be unpopular, but they’re just regular folks like you and I. Pick up the phone, talk from the heart, and stick to your story – especially when you’re dealing with multiple creditors. They don’t want to hear about all the problems you’ve had the past year, of course, but a quick explanation will soften even the toughest creditor.

If you’ve been ill or away from work for a couple of months, it’s a good idea to make them aware of this. The same goes for any other problems you’ve had in the household lately, if your husband has been laid off, or if you’ve run into unexpected medical expenses.

Life is, after all, just life and creditors deal with it too. Check out for some top tips on how to convince them not to ruin your credit score.

Stay calm, by the way, and whatever you do, don’t lose your temper with them. To be overdramatic or show childish anger won’t get you anywhere when you’ve passed the age of ten.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Remember that this conversation is for your benefit as much as the people you owe money. When the ruthless creditor tells you that you may risk losing your house or be sued, try not to run away from it all but ask specific questions instead.

When can you expect further action to be taken? Is it a good idea to find a personal loan to cover the most pressing expenses? When can you expect the money to be withdrawn from your account? You can have a look at to have a backup handy in case another loan may keep you from being sued.

Some of the threats they make may be illegal, by the way, so ask questions and take note of their answers for your own record.

Understand your situation

Do yourself a massive favor and be prepared the next time they ring. When you know how much you’re able to afford, it becomes a lot easier to keep up with the negotiations and find a realistic solution – otherwise, you may end up in the same situation in a few months.

Dealing with creditors is never much fun, but it’s inevitable when you’d like to put the past behind you. Get it over with as soon as possible, improve your credit score, and start to live within your means again.

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The Very Many Benefits Of Having Good Credit

score your creditsEveryone desires a good credit rating. Possessing one can unlock financial doors and make you look much more appealing to creditors. However, many people don’t realise how easy it is to build up a credit rating with the correct financial decisions. This is especially important for young people during their 20’s who may hope to apply for a mortgage in the future. It can also be used to provide you with business loans, short term cash advances, and even simple things such as mobile or broadband service contracts.

However, applying for the best signature loan or car finance deal will take shrewd financial planning. While this may seem like ‘boring planning time,’ it can be immensely valuable, and any hour spent here can translate to days or weeks of solid financial security. In a tumultuous world, this can be the bedrock you need to truly live the life you want.

The steps to building great credit are as follows:

Stay Aware

Many people will tell you the first best thing you can do is to apply for credit cards, make your purchases and pay back the balance promptly. This is an excellent guiding point, but it’s not the most important. Staying aware of your credit rating at all times, as well as the circumstances that might bring it down, is just as important. Not only does staying aware in this way give you the opportunity to identify past debts or loans which have completely gone unpaid, but they’ll help you understand and potentially build a timeline for how long you can expect to be in the ‘good credit’ bracket. This can help you plan significant financial investments in the future at a much more accurate timescale than someone who is simply ‘guesstimating’ the process.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Cosign Loans

Cosign loans often exist to help you with a financial circumstance, such as an emergency payment or a large gift you’re buying, without subjecting you to the dreadful high APR a low to medium credit score can net you. Simply find another guarantor to sign their name on the loan in good faith, and repaying the loan back on time (or better earlier,) can help skyrocket your credit score. Of course, asking someone to take this risk on you is a very personal and demanding affair, so be sure to be completely upfront about the loan terms and your requirements for taking it.

Financial Links

Sometimes, your credit score can be affected by the financial links you have. For this reason, staying aware of opening joint bank accounts is appropriate. Unless you have been happily married for at least a year, it’s likely that opening one should be postponed.

Check Information

The simplest way to keep on top of your credit score, and to make sure it’s accurate, is to update your information at all times. Changing certain information such as your current address, marital status and dependants help your credit profile with its accuracy. Not falling down at the first hurdle when applying for credit can be the first line of success in getting accepted.

With these simple tips, you’re much more likely to begin your ascent into solid credit reliability with ease.

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How To Use Credit Responsibly

use your cards safelyDespite all the negatives associated with credit, there are some positives too. When you manage credit responsibly, you can build up a good credit rating that will put you in a good position for car loans, a mortgage or even a business loan. If you think that having credit could benefit your finances, here are some ways you can use credit responsibly and avoid getting yourself into unnecessary debt.

Choose credit with low-interest rates

The type of interest rate you’re offered for a credit card could make a difference to your finances. If your interest rate is too high, you might struggle to make the minimum payments. High-interest also raises the question of why you’d have a card at all – you could end up paying much more for goods than you anticipated. Before making an application for a loan or credit card, do a bit of research first – is a great website for checking out different credit cards before you make an application. Make sure your credit rating is in a good place too to make sure that you have a higher chance of being offered a good deal.

Keep your limits manageable

Getting a credit card can actually be a good way to manage your finances and show to potential lenders that you’re responsible with money. Having a limit that you know you could pay off easily is important and can stop you from falling into the downhill spiral that could lead you to thousands of dollars of debt. If you’re offered high limits, refuse them. Lenders will often increase your credit limit if they see that you’re responsible with what they offer, but unless you need a limit that high – it’s not worth the risk.

Use it for added security

There are some good reasons to use a credit card, and one of them is the added security they can bring when making purchases. If your goods were to be lost or stolen, they would be covered by the insurance provided with the card. If you have a dispute over a charge like if you were a victim of identity fraud, most credit card companies will return the charge while they investigate what’s happening. This means you won’t be left out of pocket like you would with a debit card and you’ll be more likely to get a quick solution to your issues.

Pay your balance off each month

If you can pay off your credit balances each month, you will demonstrate to lenders that you can be trusted. Doing this will improve your credit rating, making it easier to get accepted for a mortgage in the future. Use your credit card to cover items you would normally buy anyway, like your groceries or your travel to work. Set up a pre-authorization so that the balance is always paid off and you’ll soon develop an excellent credit score.

Having credit can be a good thing if you use it wisely. If you need help to stay on top of your finances, then opening a credit account may not be the best solution for you. Consider how you’ll manage your finances before you apply and always use credit responsibly to avoid getting yourself into financial difficulty.

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