Monthly Archives: March 2015

Finding the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quote

Research studies indicate that a car is broken into or stolen every 19 seconds in the United States. In such a scenario, you need to ensure that you have found the cheapest auto insurance quote. However, the trick is to amalgamate the duality of robust coverage and affordability. Thus, finding the cheapest auto insurance quote is not merely a hunt for the lowest premium.

Do your Homework right! Start with doing your homework right. Spend time and understand the insurance imperatives as laid down by the state law. Evaluate the minimum coverage requirements in-force.

Compare Apples to Apples! Dont compare just purely on the basis of rates. The key to finding the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quote is to compare all the pertinent elements that go into providing comprehensive coverage at any given price. In the United States, getting insurance quotes from leading insurers and comparison-shopping is very easy. Be ruthless when you compare across quotes and choose the one with the optimal coverage at the most affordable cost. Also, when comparing across plans, compare apples to apples. This essentially means that you price-evaluate plans with the same coverage, features and benefits.

Online Quote Comparison! There are various websites that offer online quote comparison service. These websites offer access to instant online auto insurance quotes, let you compare coverage, view, modify coverage tiers. However, keep away from websites that also sell auto insurance online, as their quotes could be biased and misleading.

Dont get fooled by lower deductibles! A lower deductible does not mean that you have got yourself a dream bargain. Think long term; avoid having a short term vision. A low deductible means that you would end up paying a higher premium. Be smart and opt for a plan with a higher deductible. What matters is the ultimate cost of the coverage, considering all eventualities.

Do keep in mind that auto insurance is not a cost but a great way to protect yourself, and family, with the automobile. So, keep the human element in mind and act prudently. Tread with care!

How Credit Works

In order to acquire and maintain access to credit, one must have a working understanding of how credit works – namely, how credit scores are established and tracked by the three major credit bureaus.

Inquiry Myths

As discussed in “The Larry Rule,” people who repetitively apply for credit are viewed with suspicion by the credit agencies. However, there are some caveats to the Larry Rule. First, multiple inquiries for the same purpose – shopping for the best deal on a home loan, for example – count as just one inquiry. Secondly, it is never harmful for you to check your own credit report – only applications for credit (not mere inquiries) count against you. Third, and most importantly, inquiry data is only kept on file for six months. So in other words, the Larry Rule has a six month statute of limitations.

The exceptions to the Larry Rule outlined above are all good news for consumers. Unfortunately, not everything contained in this article is so pleasant. For example, you may believe that your permission must be given in order for someone to check your credit. Unfortunately, this is a myth, except where it applies to employers. A potential creditor, an insurance company, a landlord, or virtually anyone else can access your credit report without your permission.

Credit Repair Myths

Many people believe that paying off debts immediately improves their credit score. Unfortunately, this one of many credit repair myths. While a paid debt is marginally preferable to an unpaid liability, the truth is that missed payments and past delinquencies are still ugly marks on your credit report, and simply paying off an old debt may not improve your credit score by even one point.

The good news is that late payment and old delinquency information will disappear after seven years. But the idea that all negative information is wiped out after seven years is another credit repair myth. The truth is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your record for 10 years, and unpaid judgments can potentially remain on your credit report forever.

Another popular myth is that the act of closing your credit cards is good for your credit score. This myth is perhaps the most painful, as many people who close open accounts have difficulty opening new ones in the future. The truth is that open, active, and up-to-date accounts help your credit. Unused credit capacity (i.e. available credit) is a positive factor in determining your credit score.

Credit Counseling Myths

Credit counselors and debt management services have received a bad name over the years, and much of the negative publicity has been deserved. It is, for example, a myth that you can simply pay a company to “fix your credit.” Any firm that claims to perform this hands-off service should be avoided.

But there are good, reputable credit counseling and debt management services who truly do help people. And despite the myth that using such a service inevitably hurts your credit, the truth is that many of these companies are able to reduce their clients’ debts and maintain or improve their credit scores at the same time. When considering a credit counselor, look for firms that have these dual goals, not companies that focus solely lowering your liabilities.

Sincerely,

James

Watch out for hidden dangers in your credit card

Credit cards are a valuable tool in todays society, and have many benefits including improved cash flow and buyer security. However, credit cards have dangers too, and if they are used badly or you are unaware of the potential problems, you could end up paying out a lot of money and getting into debt. Here are some of the hidden dangers of credit cards, and how you can avoid them:

Default penalties

If you make a late payment on any bills at all, it could mean your interest rate and credit limit are affected. Even if your payment history is perfect on your credit card, late payments on other forms of credit or bills can give the credit card company an excuse to charge higher rates. To avoid this, make sure you try and pay all bills on time.

Short grace periods

Many cards used to have grace periods, meaning the period which your transactions dont gather interest, of around 30 days. Now these grace periods are getting smaller, with many companies only offering grace periods of 20 or even no period at all. This means your balance will start accruing interest as soon as you buy something, and so you will still pay interest even if you pay the bill back at the end of the month in full.
Late payment fees

If you are even 1 day late with payment of your bill, then you will incur hefty late fees, which are usually around 20-35. If you pay late more than once or twice then your interest rate can also go up. Make sure that you send payment well in advance so that your payment will always arrive on time.

Over-limit fees

Another high cost you can occur are over limit fees. If you buy something and you are near the edge of your credit limit, interest payments could push you over your limit. Going even a few pence over your limit will cost you around 20-30. These fees can soon add up. For example, if you are late with payment and the charge puts you over your limit, then you get another charge. If you are late a few times and go over your limit, you could end up spending hundreds of pounds just on fees. Make sure you know the cost of late payment and over-limit fees, and try to stay well under your limit if possible.

Mandatory arbitration

Mandatory arbitration is one thing you should look out for when you sign a credit card agreement. This clause means that if anything goes wrong and you feel the card company has acted badly, you cannot take them to court. By signing the agreement you have agreed that all matters will be settled by arbitration. This gives credit card companies the chance to act badly and not have to go to court over it. If this clause is included, make sure you think about the consequences of signing.

Although there are hidden dangers, if you are aware of them and use your card wisely then you will not incur hefty charges and will find your card extremely useful.