Tag Archives: credit cards

Money Monday: the Equifax hack

Worried about the Equifax hack?

Equifax

“The names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers for 143 million people may have been accessed. That kind of information could be used by someone else to open bank accounts, credit cards and loans in your name.

“The credit card numbers of an additional 209,000 people were also accessed. Those people will be notified directly. Everyone else must go to a website created by Equifax and submit their last name and last six digits of their Social Security number to find out if they were affected.” (“5 things to do right now if you’re worried about the Equifax hack.” 10 Sept. 2017. CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/09/pf/what-to-do-equifax-hack/index.html?iid=SF_LN

If you’re worried, here are some things you can do right now:

  1. Check your free credit reports to see if anything shows up
  2. Put a fraud alert on your credit reports and credit cards
  3. Pay attention to your bank accounts and credit cards for any suspicious purchases or withdrawals

Read more of CNN’s suggestions here: “5 things to do right now if you’re worried about the Equifax hack.”

Money Monday: Save by using more cash

Need or want to spend less? Many financial advisers (such as the famous Dave Ramsey program) propose that you should use cash for just about everything. But that can be difficult to implement, so here’s an alternative.

cash“…A new study by the Urban Institute and D2D Fund offers a middle ground that consumers might find more realistic: Use cash for anything under $20.”

 

 

 

Why focus only on small purchases? CNN has several good points, among these reasons:

  • Impulse buys are often small.
  • We’re more likely to ignore the small purchases.
  • It’s risky to carry around wads of cash.

 

 

“…So while “cash only” sounds good in theory, “cash only for the small things” might be much more useful in practice. It offers the best of both worlds: more budgetary control, plus the benefits and protections plastic can provide. So back away from the scissors and put the credit card back in your wallet. Just make sure to dust off that ATM card, too.”

Read the article in full here: “One simple rule that can change bad credit card behavior.”

Guest Post: Managing your finances before homeownership to save your home from a foreclosure

Managing your finances before homeownership to save your home from a foreclosure

Are you planning to purchase a new home? If yes, you have to buck up your finances so that you don’t fall in trouble in the near future and then risk losing your home to a forced foreclosure. Managing your finances is the most important job that you have to do when you plan to take out a home mortgage loan from a bank. The mortgage loan entails your home as collateral so that when the borrower defaults to make the payments on time, the lender can foreclose the house and recuperate the money. How much house can I afford is the most important question a borrower should ask himself before taking the plunge. Here are some important steps that you should take in order to manage your finances once you plan to take out a home loan.

  • Stop all the unnecessary expenses: Whenever you contemplate buying a new house and forget paying further rent, you should stop making all the unnecessary expenses that you can do without. If you don’t read magazines, stop the monthly subscriptions to magazines. If you can cook well, stop dining out every weekend as this will save your dollars in the long run. You can even do without the cable connection at home. If you can build an emergency fund, you can easily take out a mortgage loan at an affordable rate.
  • Stop using your credit cards: Are you aware of the fact that the mortgage lender will check your DTI ratio or the debt-to-income ratio that is the ratio between the total monthly debt obligations with your monthly income. If you keep on purchasing things with your credit cards, you’ll drown in unsecured debt and thereby be forced to take out a home mortgage loan at an unaffordable interest rate. Therefore, stuff your wallet with cash so that you may stop buying things when you’re exhausted.
  • Save enough money: Yes, this is the ultimate secret that will take you to the path of a smooth mortgage loan approval. The mortgage loan underwriter will check the amount you’re paying down while taking out the loan amount. The more you pay down, the lower will be the rate offered to you. You should save enough money so that you can at least pay down 20% of the loan amount and avoid paying PMIs later on.
  • Keep track on your credit score: Don’t take any wrong step that can hit your credit score. Pull out a copy of your credit score time to time so that you know where you stand financially. Repair your credit as much as possible so as to grab the best mortgage loan at the most covetable cost.

When you’re dreaming of homeownership, make sure you follow the money tips mentioned above. By taking all the tips mentioned above, you can get the most appropriate loan in accordance with your affordability. Don’t forget to ask yourself “how much house can I afford” before taking out the loan.

Is it a “Happy New Year” for the Housing Market?

Goodbye 2011 & Hello 2012! Is this a Happy New Year?

Is it goodbye to a bad year or hello to the same?  While the economy is still struggling, unemployment slightly better, and real estate showing signs of improvement only to retract its position, I believe the glass is still half full, with an asterisk.

What's in store for 2012's housing market?The holiday season began strong on Thanksgiving weekend, reports are that retailers numbers receded which led to heavy markdowns the week of Christmas. Final numbers are still to come, while job growth is modest, mostly in low-paying sectors like retail and hospitality. This past year also saw an increase in credit card spending for gifts as a result of higher gasoline, food prices, and general inflation.

With mortgage rates still at historic low rates, the housing industry is still struggling with values dropping, even though sales have shown signs of recovery. With more than one in every five borrower still owing more than their home is worth, many homeowners are too pressed to spend on much more than the essentials which leave us to the big question: WHAT SHOULD I DO?

With all predictions expecting more of the same this year as last, there is still and always will be optimism, but each homeowner out there who is still upside-down, either waiting for or in a modification, is so far upside down that they most likely will never recoup the past negative equity in the future.  They are at the same time struggling to make ends meet with just the essentials. Mortgage companies and investors are still holding the belt tight and are not reducing principle for most people waiting for  modifications or who have them–leaving homeowners to finally make that decision that enough is enough.

There are opportunities to purchase and leave your upside-down home, but you would need to act fast. Other opportunities are also available and action now will help you live a life more care-free and stress-free in a fast-paced, ever-uncertain economic time.

Call me now and let’s talk. My direct line of contact is 619-890-3648.

God Bless