Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Find Out your Credit Score For Free

What do people when they run out of money? This is a question with multiple choices of answer. They might just spend less, so they can fit into their earnings, or they may get a credit. But how can they know if they are actually going to get their desired credit or not?

What you need to know when asking for a credit, is that most companies which give credits look at your credit score, and if it is not good, you simply won’t get the money, or it will be more difficult, or the amount will be smaller than you asked for. Credit score is important and in case you already have some credit cards, or other type of loans, these add to your credit score and make it worse. This is why you need to always keep on eye on your credit reports.

If you don’t know your credit score, but you’d like to find it out, you can go, for example, to FreeCreditScoreOnline.com, where you’ll find answers to your credit-related questions, including credit fraud, or getting a credit, or similar things.

The website contains lots of useful information, articles about making applications for Credit Cards, or about credit eligibility, so you’ll find out things you may not know about lots of personal finance issues. There is even a chapter on bad credit cards: read it to discover what cards you should stay away from and why.
Whenever you want a credit, a wise thing is to do your homework and research all possibilities, advantages and dangers, before jumping into conclusions. In this way, you’ll be safe and you’ll have money to buy all the things you like.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Secured Black Diamond Visa or MasterCard Card

Would you like to have credit cards with high credit limit, but worried about the financial difficulties in the future so be very bad credit score? Do not worry. New Millennium Bank (N.M.B) can help you to get a credit card you want, no matter what your current credit conditions.

Your request to have a secured credit card will be approved. Because, N.M.B realize a lot of people with low credit score is due to the shaky economic conditions. Not due to their behavior. Many of those who formerly had good credit scores. But suddenly as the economy faltered, they were experiencing financial difficulties and they become a bad credit score.

There are two types of credit cards being offered, the Secured Black Diamond Visa ® or MasterCard ® Card.

Credit Limit Up to $ 10,000

The N.M.B. Black Diamond is a credit card secured credit cards that come with credit limits up to, $ 5,000 or$ 10,000 in accordance with your deposit. The deposit you make will determine your credit limit. Maybe you wonder why you would need a credit card if you have any type of available cash. Credit card is required in many places for many transactions. Believe it or not, there are many places that will not accept cash.

If you have bad credit, you may have difficulty getting approved for credit cards, regardless of how much extra cash or you have. The N.M.B. Secured Black Diamond MasterCard ® or Visa ® Card gives you the opportunity to have a credit card for times when it is needed and rebuild your credit at the same time. N.M.B. consolidated into three major credit bureaus every month so that your good payment history will not go unnoticed. By getting two cards from the NMB, you can increase your credit limit and re-establish your credit two times faster!

Benefits N.M.B. Black Diamond Secured Credit Card

There are many benefits you can expect when you apply your NMB Secured Black Diamond Credit Card, beginning with no credit check. Regardless of your past credit history, you will be approved for credit cards are fantastic. Once you get instant approval, you will automatically receive free membership in The World’s Best Travel Club.com, FREE COMPANION AIRFAIR and benefits as follows.
  1. Credit limits up to $ 10,000
  2. Cash at over 740,000 ATMs
  3. Monthly report to the Credit Bureau 3
  4. Emergency Cash
  5. Auto Rental Insurance
  6. Protection Extended Warranty
  7. $ 100,000 Travel Accident Insurance
New Millennium Bank has an excellent reputation, especially for people to help get the credit they deserve. Thousands of people, like you, have been assisted by the national credit card program is guaranteed New Millennium Bank offers. Whether it’s MasterCard ® or Visa ®, New Millennium has been helping customers get their credit back on track by providing them with a card that will meet their needs.

New Millennium Bank has continued to excel in everything they do including having to obtain an excellent reputation for safe and reliable. Bauer Financial Services has given New Millennium Bank 4-star rating for excellence. In addition, New Millennium continues to pass very strict review by the State and Federal Regulations concerning health and safety group them as part of the national banking system. To ensure the safety of your money, and $ 100,000 of your money saved is guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).(by Trevor Poulson).

Secured Visa Card – My Debt Thousands of Dollars Get Paid

Here’s my news fit the acquaintance of Mr. Lee Costley never accomplished banking accident aback his business went bankrupt. He was affected to acquisition a job anywhere. Apparently, he was assuredly able to pay huge debts afterwards a Secured Visa Card.
* * *
I and some other people have had a very profitable transportation business in Houston, Texas. We produce more than half a million dollars per month income with a very healthy profit margin. Most of our business is air charter move oilfield equipment worldwide. I have good credit and some credit card that I use extensively enough to fly around the world organize air charter.

It’s not unusual for me to spend $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 per month on my American Express and Mastercard. Then, almost overnight, the business of oil field fell and so did our business. Some of our clients can not pay what they owe us and I can not pay the bills my bank card. My personal credit into the tank ‘and I lost all my bank cards.

Life is not much fun for a few years. Our company out of business I have to go out and find a job. Most of my work experience involved in project management and travel. Without credit cards, travel impossible. It makes looking for jobs almost impossible.

I do not remember how exactly, but somehow I find secured credit cards.
You just put a deposit or an amount of money with a credit card company and they will issue you a card with a limit equal to the amount of money you have on deposit with them. If you deposit $ 1,000.00 with them, you have a credit limit of $ 1,000.00. If you deposit $ 10,000, you have a credit limit of $ 10,000.

Secured Visa Card: The Answer to My Problem

Secured Visa Card is the answer to my problem. All my debts were got paid. I could scrape up a few thousand dollars, enough to be able to travel some, book airline tickets, checking in to hotels and rental cars. That opens the possibility of my work and I could go back to work again. Not only was I able to go back to work again, over a period of time I could build my credit back and after a year or more, can begin to get an unsecured credit card in my name anymore. If you are faced with the dilemma of the same or similar, try.
Scrape up the money, the people most able to collect at least $ 500 up to $ 1000 or so, if they try hard enough, and looking for a secured credit card. Deposit the money as much as you can improve with a secured bank card problems, fill out the application and within a few days you will have shiny new credit card in your pocket that you can use credit cards accepted everywhere.

You’ll return to the road to repair your credit and you will have the ability to travel, eat at restaurants, stay at the hotel, can rent a car and enjoy the convenience of carrying a credit card allows you to have. If you need to rebuild your credit or you need a credit card for travel and you have been turned down for credit, I highly recommend obtaining a Secured Visa Card.

How to Get Credit Card for College Student

Now many banks make easier for student to get credit cards. Even granting a credit card for college student regardless of whether they performed part-time student or full time. Undergraduate or postgraduate, international students who visit, work or study in the U.S. One of the requirements to get  the credit card is at least 18 years old. Students who are no older than 18 years must obtain parental or guardian consent.

Ownership of credit cards for college student also can help them to make a good credit history  that they need in the future, especially in order they can get loans, including loans  to purchase car, house or a cash loan. Without having a history of credit cards, many international students and scholars is difficult to get a credit card.

Of course, in order to build a history of credit card, then they must have a credit card. Or at least have a history of paying debts, whatever their type of debt. Many students are frustrated because their credit card application was rejected on the grounds they did not have a history of credit cards. In fact, they desperately need a credit card to get credit to meet expenses while studying.

How they can get a student credit card?

Before you apply for student credit card, you must ensure yourself that you later can make monthly bill payments on time. This requirement is an absolute you must run well if the ownership of your credit cards you do not want to get  trouble.!

First: Ask for a secured credit card to help you build your credit history. Coming to the bank, and ask if they offer a secured credit card. Secured credit card is the type of credit card with a deposit. This means that your credit can be served only to the extent the amount of your deposit at the bank. If your credit equal to the funds you deposit, then you do not owe anymore. You need to wait for next month. Unless there are other people to lend money to you.

Paying bills every month under the scheduled time will help you to have a good credit history.

Second: credit card for college student is open to all students living in the United States for some time. Therefore, international students still have a chance to get a credit card.

Third: full time students can contact the bank in order to apply for student credit cards. The Bank will handle requests your credit card.

Fourth: It should be others willing to become a guarantor. Here you should do when your credit card applications are denied by bank. Who will be the guarantor,you should find anyone from  our relationship.

What benefits you can get them from student credit card?

Ownership of credit card for college students can help them to learn how to be responsible, especially in personal financial management. Your credit card score will increase if you can use your credit card properly. Credit cards also educate students to recognize about debt and interest in the bank. With the right and appropriate guidance, they  will be able to benefit more from getting a student credit card.

What is weaknesses student credit card?

If  student credit card is not used properly and responsibly, the student will be burdened with a large amount of debt. In fact, even after graduation they can be repaid debts. Generally students who fare poorly  like this because their credit cards are not managed properly. Credit cards are considered as ”free money”.
It usually starts from late payment of montly bills and then accumulate from month to month, so that eventually reach large numbers. So if you have credit card bills, get paid. No need to pay the minimum amount. If your credit bills paid quickly, then you will not be affected by higher interest expense.

Enjoy your credit card for college student, but be careful when shopping. Always pay monthly bills on time. Better bills settled immediately so that you are not exposed to high rate.

Bad Credit Rating – Having Applied Bank Secured Visa Credit Card

Are you now have a bad credit rating and want to get out of credit conditions that are not encouraging it? And you also do not want to bear the high prices and the annual percentage fee for securing your traditional credit cards?

One interesting option for you is to have the Applied Bank Secured Visa credit card. Because, in the ownership of this credit card you can set own credit limit you’ll capture. That started a minimum of $ 200 and a maximum of $ 500. Of course, you must deposit funds. The amount of the corresponding amount of funds you deposit.

Who is entitled to Applied Bank Secured Visa credit card? Consumers who score at least 649 bad credit. They qualify for a secured Visa card.

How much is the registration fee to obtain the credit card? There is no fee you must pay. The flowers remain jugs, ie 12.99 per cent. April was also not increased, despite the late payment on your credit.

Fee that You must Paid is:
  • In the late-payment fee to $ 35.
  • The annual cost of $ 50 for the first year.
  • Cost of maintenance per month $ 9.95.
This credit card is accepted worldwide at millions of locations. There are also reporting to the credit monitoring agencies. You need to know, not all credit card providers report your credit to credit monitoring agencies. So, you have to be carefully when choosing a credit card  provider. That’s important tips to improve your bad credit rate.

Find The Best Business Credit Card Information

This day, people prefer to use the online payment because it will faster and easier. It will support people who have the online shopping and there will be a lot of online store that offer the best online service. The best part from the online shopping is people can have the credit payment.

If people want to pay the order by credit, they will need a credit card. Credit card is a card that you can get from bank or other financial institution for the payment. There will be a lot of credit card provider that offer the different service for you. if you want to use the credit card for business, it is better for you to choose the best business credit card that offer the best service and low interest rates.

You can make an online comparison by visiting a lot of provider to find the information about the interest rates that they offer. In this case, the advertising and  online review can help you.

Best Application Process to Get Approval

The other consideration that you should have is the application process and make sure that you choose the provider that offer the best application process so you can easily get the approval. If you have the best business credit card, you will have the comfortable business because your customer can quickly pay the order.

You can get the easy credit card application because each of the providers will provide the online service and all you need to do is fill the online form. It is also important for you to be careful because there is the credit card provider that applies the hidden fees or taxes that will burden your monthly bill.

You can get the best business credit card at bank but it will have the complicated process and they will carefully check your credit history. However, it is better for you to have the consultation with the financial expert before apply the credit card.

Ready to Secure Business Credit Card that You Hold?

Are you running a small business? How is it? How did you get the budget to start it? Did you take a credit from the bank? Well, you surely make hard afford to pay it on time, do you? When you have bad history of payment, what will you do? You need the bank to secure business credit card that you hold.

If you hold secured business credit card, you can easily ask for another credit to the bank. The interest hat is charged to you are usually lower than the unsecured one. If is very good for you who has small business. If you still need more credit, you can directly ask to the bank. But this all thing can you get with one important requirement.

The bank will ask you to put deposit for the guarantee. What is the guarantee for? The guarantee you put is to protect the bank from the loose if you can’t pay back your credit. This seems cruel but it is exactly equal. Before you take this service, you have to read carefully the agreement that is offered by the bank.
After you agree with it, you can hold get the credit card. The bank will also secured business credit card that you have from any bad transaction.

If you have bad habit in sending the amount on the payday time, the bank will own your deposit. But if you can pay the credit on time and make good history payment, your deposit is safe. To avoid any bad condition, you have to think many time of what asset that you will put as the guarantee.

If you are not ready to lose it, you have to put other thing. Ready or not, you will never know what may come in the future. You have to try to be a good customer to save your deposit. And you have to choose whether you want to secure business credit card that is on your hand or not.

Why Business Secured Credit Cards?

No one even guess what may come in the future. You probably think the same way about your small business. What would you do if it doesn’t run well? Your credit also can’t be paid because of your business bad condition. How can you establish your bad credit?

You really need a help to solve this problem. If you don’t wish this thing happens to you someday, you can ask for business secured credit cards service to the bank.

This service will help you to repair your bad credit and give you more support to run your small business. You can get many benefits from the business secured credit cards service. When you still need more credit, the bank can give you. The interest rate usually is lower than the unsecured credit card.

You can also get some insurance products, for example for your car and travel. Don’t you think it is very interesting? Having business secured credit card gives you more benefits that n the unsecured one. But, you have to remember one thing. The bank will not allow you to ask for addition credit if they can’t get something for the guarantee. You have to put the deposit first. You can use your asset or your business asset for the guarantee.

The bank charges you this to protect the credit that you take. If you can’t pay at the time, the bank may to take your deposit. But if you can pay the credit on time, your deposit will be safe. It is all depends on you. If you have good pay history, you won’t lose your deposit or the assets you put as the guarantee.
Back to your own decision, will you take the business secured credit cards service and the benefits or you take the unsecured credit cards service. You can choose for your best.

What is Secured Business Credit Cards Service?

To run a business, you need certain budget to start it all. If your business is big enough, you really need big budget also. But if your business is small, you probably need in the reachable amount you can afford. You can also make credit on your trusted bank. You can get addition money to run your business. You can purchase credit card to the bank.

Nobody even you, don’t want to have problem with the credit. If your business in fact can’t run well, you might need addition amount to solve the problem. But how if your bank can give you more, because you haven’t paid the credit that you take before?

You are really in big trouble then. Your dream to make better business will go away. If you can turn back the time, you should take secured business credit cards service. Let’s learn it before that bad dream be reality.
Secured business credit card is one of the services that the bank offers for the people who take business credit card. If you take this service, you will get many benefits, for example you can ask for credit again after your first credit. To get this service you need to give your assets or your business as the guarantee if you can’t return the credit.

The secured business credit cards service also gives the bank benefits. It can protect the bank from the loose of credit you take. It is because the bank can get your guarantee if they can’t get their money back. So be careful, don’t use the things that you don’t want to lose for the guarantee.

That is sounds so cruel but exactly the both sides, you and the bank get the benefits of the secured business credit cards product. With using this credit card, you can always have credit to run your business. But, before you take this option, you’d be better to compare every product from different banks to get the best choice.

Many People Prefer to Use Secured Business Credit Card

Credit card has been considered as something common these days. For many of us, the credit cards have provided many chances for us to have the simpler activities. Imagine, we wouldn’t need to carry lots of money when we were about to buy some stuff.
It would be extremely helpful when we were abroad. When we were on a trip, carrying too much cash might give us some certain unpleasant feelings. We would feel unsecured, and really, it was unsecured. It would be better for us to carry some cards in our wallet so we could have the excellent trip without feeling unsecured.
There are many kinds of credit cards that we could use for our trips. Surely, we should make sure that we could use the perfect credit cards.

Some of us might have some bad experiences about the credit cards. They swiped the cards easily and when the time has come, they couldn’t pay the bills. That would be awful. That is why; today some of us would rather to choose the other kinds of credit cars. This type is called as the secured business credit card.

Secured Credit Card, Secured Loan

Just as its name, this is a secured credit card. It would be the same as the secured loan. We should grant our assets to the banks to get the cards. This would be secure for us because our cards would be limited. Plus, if we couldn’t pay the bills, we wouldn’t have to be worried because there wouldn’t be any debt collectors that would terrorize us.
According to some users, the secured credit card would give them some more safety feelings. It means, since the amount is limited, and they should also consider the security of their assets, the users would be even more careful on using it. The banks would only take charges of every transaction. It means, the remained amount wouldn’t be charged.
That would be the different with the secured loans. In the secured loan, we would receive some amount of money. Even though we still kept the money, the bank would still charge the interest rate for the whole loan. The secured credit card wouldn’t do such thing.
That is why; many credit card users would prefer to use this secured business credit card. It gives them some comforts that they have never felt before with the regular credit cards. They could use the credit cards even more careful than ever.

The Great - Secured Credit Cards Bank of America

SECURED CREDIT CARDS BANK OF AMERICA: Credit cards become one important thing for people. They start to use it in everything they do, such as purchasing something, paying their hotel rate, and many more.

The greatest thing from credit card is that some kinds of credit cards can be used around the world if the credit card has the international legalization. This really helps people especially when they are traveling abroad. They will not get confused of thinking the secure of the amount of money they bring during the traveling time.

There are so many credit cards offered by many banks. Before you deice to apply one, it would be better if you look any information needed so that you will not regret taking that credit card. If you want to get the great one, it is worth to apply for secured credit cards bank of America.

Secured credit cards bank of America is the great way to rebuild your credit history even though you still want to purchase things worldwide at the same time. You can purchase comfortably by knowing that you are protected against illegal transaction.  This is just great since you can get all that you need in one thick card named credit card.

Many Practical and Easy Things

Applying for secured credit cards bank of America offers you so many practical and easy things. The application of this credit card is not difficult. Once you have registered, you will get all the benefits provided by this credit card.

There are so many card rental discounts offered. Customers may also pay their bill online. This is just great. Your bill will be sent to you monthly. Most of banks provided credit card service; try to ease their customers with customized method payment.

They may pay the bill in the scheduled time and in the certain amount of payment according to the terms and condition agreed by two parties.

The Best from Secured Credit Cards

The benefits of credit cards is what people feel and need nowadays. This thick card has given the best for us. They give us practicality I purchasing something. We do not have to bring much money if we want to go out of town or even abroad.

We just have to use this magic card to fulfill or necessities there. It is just simple, right? That is why many people race to get all the benefits that they can get from this card. Most banks issued this card complete it all with many great offerings and discounts so that many people will come and apply for this card.
They also give some kind of rewards for particular terms to attract people to use their credit card more and more. This promotion does really work since many people apply for this kind of card to make their life easier. The common form of this kind of card is secured credit cards.

What are secured credit cards?

This is a kind of credit card which requires you to have the deposit in the same bank issued the credit card. By having the deposit there, the bank will have the guarantee if someday you are unable to pay all of the debts, they may take your deposit to pay it. If your deposit is just not enough to pay all of your debts, you have to pay the rest and you will have your credit clean.

What does it mean? It means that you are no longer having what people called with bad credit. This is a condition in which you are unable to pay all of the debts. Commonly, people applying this kind of card have the limitation in using the credit. It usually around 50% to 100% according to the terms of condition offered by the bank issued the credit card.

Secured credit cards are the best choice for those who want to feel the easiness of worldwide purchasing with particular limitation. This will help you to control your desire to buy all the things interesting using your credit card. You will have your bills sent monthly and you have the choice whether to pay the debts online or come to the bank.

Talking about credit card is talking about the easiness of life, modern lifestyle, and your possibility to handle all transactions at a moment in a hand, anytime and anywhere. And all of  it you’ll find at secured credit cards.

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Benefits of Secured Credit Cards
  • Online banking service.
  • Total aegis protection.
  • Travel and emergency abetment
  • Automatic auto rental insurance.
  • Purchase replacement.
  • Purchase guard.
  • Convenience checks at no added charge.
  • Additional cards at no added allegation
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish), Braille, and large-print acclaim agenda statements accessible aloft request.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tax Break for New Car Purchases

The IRS announced today that taxpayers who buy a new passenger vehicle this year may be entitled to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase on their 2009 tax returns next year.
The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.
I buy a new car for $25,000 and pay 7% State Sales tax of $1,750 (25,000 x 0.07), I may be entitled to a Tax Deduction of $1,750 on my 2009 taxes next year.
The IRS is trying to promote individuals to keep buying in a down economy and while there are good incentitives out there like the First-Time Home Buyer Credit, this one is not.  If you were planning on buying a new car or need a new car then great, take the the deduction.  For most of us, we don’t NEED TO PURCHASE NEW.  Instead think about putting that money to work for you in an Interest Earning Account, where you can access it for emergencies but still earn interest.
Some other notes on the new Tax Break for New Car Purchases…
  • The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.
  • Vehicle must be purchased after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010, to qualify for the deduction.
  • The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return.
  • The deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.

Roth IRA vs Traditional IRA

An IRA is an Individual Retirement Arrangement that provides tax advantages.  Generally, there are two types of IRAs to choose from, Roth IRA or Traditional IRA.
  • A Roth IRA is funded with “after-tax” money, or money that has already been subject to income tax.  The Roth IRA grows tax-free and withdrawals at retirement are usually tax-free.
  • A Traditional IRA is funded with “pre-tax” money, or money that has not been subject to income tax.  The Traditional IRA grows tax-free withdrawals at retirement are taxed as income.
There are several advantages/ disadvantages to both IRA types.  The main difference is getting the tax break now or when you retire.
Some reasons I Like the Roth IRA…
  • Direct contributions to a Roth IRA may be withdrawn tax free at any time.  (May not withdraw Traditional IRA contributions without incurring penalties)
  • Contributions may be made to a Roth IRA even if the owner participates in a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k)  (Contributions may be made to a traditional IRA in this circumstance, but they may not be tax deductible.)
  • The Roth IRA does not require distributions based on age.  (All other tax-deferred retirement plans require withdrawals to begin after the owner reaches age 70½)  (Great way to leave money to your heirs)
Some reasons I Don’t Like the Roth IRA…
  • Contributes to a traditional IRA instead of a Roth IRA get an immediate tax savings.
  • A taxpayer who pays state income taxes and who contributes to a Roth IRA will have to pay state income taxes on the amount contributed.  However, if the taxpayer retires to a state with no income taxes, then the taxpayer will avoid paying state income taxes altogether by instead contributing to a traditional IRA.
  • The perceived tax benefit may never be realized with a Roth IRA.  Early death or a short retirement period may reduce the full benefit.  One must live until one’s Roth IRA contributions have been withdrawn and exhausted to fully realize the tax benefit.
  • Congress may change the rules that currently allow for tax free withdrawal of Roth IRA contributions.
Hopefully this helps simplify the complicated world of IRAs.  A great, easy to read, chart can be found on Wikipedia, here.

Easy and Simple 401k

What is a 401k and why should I care?
  1. A 401k is offered by companies to workers as a way to save for retirement.
  2. The 401k is funded with pre-tax money, meaning you haven’t paid taxes on it yet.
  3. Some companies might offer a 401(k) match up to a dollar amount or percentage.
  4. The 401k will grow, tax-free, until retirement age, when you can withdraw the money.  The 401k is taxed when the money is withdrawn at retirement.
  5. The employee can select from a number of investment options (Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds, Etc)
This is a lot of information to understand so let’s break it down more…
1. First off, 401ks are company sponsored, or set up with the company you work for.  You are responsible for enrolling yourself.  And you absolutely should!  The sooner you enroll the more  money you will gain.  25% of workers fail to sign up.  Don’t be that person.
2. 401ks are funded with pre-tax money.
Let’s say I put $100 into my 401k and I invest $100 on my own.  The $100 that I invest on my own actually costs me $118 because I have to pay income taxes on it (15% or so).  THIS IS HUGE!
3. 401k company matches are great and take full advantage of them.  Most companies will match your 401k contributions up to a certain percentage or dollar amount.  THIS IS FREE MONEY!
If your company has a 3% 401k match, then absolutely put 3% in your account.  At the end of the year, your company will also put in 3% for a total of 6%.  If you only put in 2%, your company would also only put in 2% for a total of 4%.  In other words, by only contributing 2% instead of 3%, you are actually cutting your retirement 2% (6%-4%).  TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE COMPANY MATCH!  FREE MONEY!
4. 401ks grow tax-free.  The Earlier you start, the better.  The following charts are based on the exact same information except for the number of years.  Chart 1 is based on 25 years of contributions (age 35 - age 60) and Chart 2 is based on 35 years of contributions (age 25 - age 60).  Basically, if you start saving now, you will have OVER TWICE AS MUCH WHEN YOU RETIRE!
Chart 1 is based on 25 years of contributions (age 35 - age 60)
Total Contributions of $33,892 with earnings of $208,107

25 Years of Contributions
Chart 2 is based on 35 years of contributions (age 25 - age 60)
Total Contributions of $49,992 with earnings of $511,634

35 Years of Contributions
Charts based on…
8% Rate of Return
3% Contributions
3% Company Match
$40,000 Annual Salary
5. Last of all, you can choose from a select number of investment options.  Don’t let this scare you and just pick a good mix of stocks, mutual funds, and bonds.  Bonds are for old people.  Stocks are for younger people.  Stocks are more risky but generally offer a better return.  Bonds are less risky and offer a lower return.
My personal view is:  Under 50 = good mix of stocks, no bonds.
Some other notes on 401ks…
  • Don’t worry about switching jobs, you can take your 401(k) with you
  • You will pay Income Tax on the money you withdraw around retirement age
  • In 2008, you are limited to putting $15,500/year in your 401k
  • You can Withdraw your money before you’re 59.5 years old, but you will have to pay  a 10% Penalty
  • Special Early Withdrawal exceptions…such as a down payment to a house
  • Automatic payroll deductions make it super easy to start a 401k

Auto Insurance

Not all Auto Insurance is the same.  I used to think they were and just went with lowest premium. 
A couple years ago, I had a local insurance company that was cheap.  Then, one day, I got a letter in the mail that said they would no longer cover insurance in my state.  I had 1 month to look for new insurance.  I ended up finding another local, cheap insurance company and signed up.  Recently, I also needed to get some home insurance and found out the company I was with didn’t offer it.  So I found myself looking again for insurance.  I decided not to go cheap anymore and pay the extra 5% or so every six months for a company that I can rely on for everything.  Plus I was able to  get a discount having both my Auto and Home Insurance with the same company (multi-policy discount).   PS - It also took me a week just to cancel my cheap insurance…no one would answer the phone!  Good thing it wasn’t an emergency.
After shopping around, I choose to go with a larger company with a solid financial background.  There are websites that rate Insurance companies (this was news to me).  Fitch and AM Best are two sites that I have used.  I would suggest getting quotes from more than one company, even if you don’t need to change anything now.  Who knows, they just might be able to save you money!

Allstate is one company that provides free quotes.  I like it because it’s easy and simply to use.
So now I have an Insurance Company for ALL of my insurance needs.  I am saving money by getting the “multi-policy” discount and I have confidence they will answer the phone for me.
Bonus:  I can receive and pay my premiums online.  And they give me a discount for doing so!

How to File an Amended Tax Return

Oops!  I messed up my tax return and now don’t know what to do.
Surprisingly, the IRS makes re-filing a tax return or an Amended Return pretty easy to do.  Follow the steps below and you’ll be outta the clear in no time…or richer!
  1. Only File an amended return if you discover any of the following items were reported incorrectly: filing status, dependents, total income, deductions or credits.
  2. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return for math errors as the IRS will be ale to make the correction for you.
  3. You also do not usually need to file an amended return because you forgot to include W-2s or schedules; the IRS normally requests those forms from you.
  4. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.  It does not matter if you filed manually or electronically, the 1040X will work for both.
  5. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  6. If the changes involve another schedule or form, attach it to the 1040X.
  7. If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
  8.  If you owe additional tax for 2008, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return (usually 4-15).

Tax-free New Car Purchase

The IRS is offering a tax break for individuals who purchase a new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle. You can read about the original announcement here.
Here’s a quick guide of how it works…
  • State and local sales taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of qualifying vehicles are deductible.
  • Qualified vehicles generally include NEW: cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles.
  • Purchases must be after Feb. 16, 2009 and before Jan. 1, 2010.
  • The tax deduction can be taken regardless of whether or not you itemize other deductions on your tax return.
  • Claim this deduction when filing your 2009 federal income tax return not your 2008 taxes.
  • The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.
If you are considering buying a new vehicle this tax incentive means there has never have been a better time to buy.   But if you can do without, you’ll save even more!

Small Living

Lately, I have been reading about small living, tiny houses, and downsizing your life. Some of the stories are extreme but the overall message is something we all can apply to our lives.

Simply put, the less “stuff” we have, the less money we spend, and the less we have to worry about.

Take a large house for example. We pay more for a large house, but we also have to pay more in taxes, insurance, maintenance, stuff to fill it up with, landscaping, etc.

My favorite example is clothes. I just started donating old clothes to Goodwill every three months. If I don’t wear it in 3 months, it’s gone. My goal is to reduce my wardrobe and therefore be satisfied with less. I won’t need a big, walk-in closet or have the urge to shop. It’ll be one less thing I’ll have to worry about. Not to mention, I’ll give back to the community, gain a tax deduction, and have more money in my pocket.

What are some things you could downsize?

Finance for Kids

Why do schools teach more about history and geography than finance?

In high school, we had mandatory history classes but no personal finance lessons.

Today, I hardly use my history or geography knowledge gained in school. Thanks to wikipedia, google maps, and other information sources, I don’t see the point in learning this knowledge.

Instead, I could have used lessons in:

* Building a Credit Score
* How to Calculate Payments
* What a Tax Credit was

What are some other finance topics you wish you had known?

How to claim Cash for Clunkers

Probably by now, most of you know what the “Cash for Clunkers” or CARS program is. If not, it’s a way to trade in your old, gas guzzling car for a new one and you’ll get $3,500 or $4,500 from the government, right away, for free.

The official site with all the FAQs can be found here: http://www.cars.gov/

Here is the quick read of what rules apply…

* Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date
* Only purchase or lease of new vehicles qualify
* Generally, trade-in vehicles must get 18 or less MPG (some very large pick-up trucks and cargo vans have different requirements)
* Trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year preceding the trade-in
* You don’t need a voucher, dealers will apply a credit at purchase
* Program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
* The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.
* It does not matter if your trade-in or new purchase is foreign or domestic, both qualify.
* Consumers should expect that all information collected through the CARS Program will be kept confidential. Social Security numbers are not required for a CARS transaction.

It’s easy to take advantage of. Toyota, Ford, and GM (if you really want to) all have sites dedicated to CARS.

For some people, this handout could be worth it.

Example: You have a 1996 Buick Century and it gets 15 mph/ gallon. You have owned it for over 1 year and have the money to finance or purchase a new car. In this case, go for it! You’d be crazy not too.

On the other hand, if you have a good working car, that gets you over 20 mph/ gallon, think twice. Do you really need the new car? Check out my previous thoughts on purchasing new vehicles and you decide.

Reminder: New cars can qualify for a tax deduction. The sales tax on new car purchases can be deducted on next year’s tax return.

How to Reduce Taxes with a Home Office

Do you use part of your home for business? If so, you claim a deduction on your taxes!

Many taxpayers may be able to take a home office deduction when filing their federal income tax return next year. Listed below are some important things you should know when claiming the home office deduction.

* Generally, you must use part of your home exclusively and regularly: As your principal place of business OR as a place to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers.
* The amount you can deduct depends on the percentage of your home that you use for business. (Example: Total square feet of house ÷ Office square feet)
* Your deduction for expenses will be limited if your gross income from your business is less than your total business expenses.
* If you are self-employed, use Form 8829 (instructions for Form 8829 here) to figure your home office deduction and report those deductions on line 30 of Schedule C, Form 1040.
* Different rules apply to claiming the home office deduction if you are an employee. For example, the regular and exclusive business use must be for “the convenience of your employer.” If your employer provides an office and you choose to work from home, generally, this does not qualify.

For more information see IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home

How to Earn Interest with a Checking Account

An Interest Earning Checking Account is a savings account and checking account combined. You can make deposits and withdraws like a checking account but also earn interest like a savings account. It’s a win/ win! Most interest earning checking accounts are free, but some do charge you monthly fees. Stay away from those.

I personally use Schwab Bank and and like it a lot. It is an online bank account so I have never physically been to a branch. I further simplify my life, I set up direct deposit with my paycheck. At the end of the month, I use the online bill pay for all of my monthly expenses.

Why do this?

* The account is making more money for me. I earn interest on my paycheck the minute it is directly deposited. I don’t have to do a thing! * My Schwab account also comes with an ATM card so I can make withdraws whenever I need to. They also reimburse for any ATM fees…which I love since most ATM’s will charge you. * The only downfall is depositing a check. I work around it by keeping a local checking account along with my Schwab Account. I can then go to my local bank and deposit the check. Once deposited, I then have the option to transfer it online to my Schwab account to start earning interest. It’s one more step but an easy one to do.

Another great option is the HSBC Direct Account. The best part is there are NO MINIMUM DEPOSITS and NO FEES and its FDIC INSURED.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Way To Milk Low Interest Rates

With mortgage rates still hovering near record lows, buying or building a new home or refinancing an existing mortgage can save you big money. But there’s another, less obvious way to take advantage of this historic opportunity. You could purchase a house and immediately make major improvements. And if you handle the financing correctly, you should be able to cover all of your costs—buying the house, fixing it up, and even the expense of carrying the mortgage while you live elsewhere—with a single low-rate loan.

You can get this special kind of purchase-renovation mortgage through lenders approved by Fannie Mae, the giant mortgage packager. (For a list of those in your area, go to www.homepath.com.) To determine how much you can borrow, the lender will consider the purchase price of the home and the cost of the planned remodeling. Assuming it’s a single-family house that you’ll occupy yourself, you should be able to finance as much as 95% of the total cost of buying and fixing the place or the appraised value of the home after renovations, whichever is less. You’ll need to present not only a contract for the purchase of the house but also for the work you’ll have done; the lender will check out the contractor and monitor the construction as it progresses, making payments in stages.

You can also use this financing approach to pay for updating your current house or a vacation home. Because it takes into account what the property will be worth after renovation, you’ll have more money available than if you were simply to borrow against existing equity. And you can finance up to six months of mortgage payments to cover your housing costs during construction. Lenders offer all of the standard mortgage types and terms—15- or 30-year, fixed or adjustable rate—and if rates are still low when the work is finished, you might be able to refinance at even better terms.

Don’t Give Up Your Day Job

Could the portfolio damage wrought by the bear market delay your exit from the work force? That’s no idle concern, according to a new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The study’s authors, Andrew D. Eschtruth and Jonathan Gemus, believe fading retirement plan values could be one reason labor force participation among older workers (ages 55-64) increased during the past year by a full two percentage points—the largest rise in post-World War II economic history.

Normally, the proportion of workers with jobs or who are actively seeking employment declines during recessions. But this time, that percentage rose sharply, though only for employees in the older age group. From March 2001 through August 2002, the participation rate of younger workers declined by 0.7 percentage points, the steepest drop during any recession since 1960.

Why the sharp divergence? With nest eggs shrinking, some older employees may have decided to postpone retirement, while others have probably rejoined the work force, Eschtruth and Gemus suggest. This is particularly likely, they say, now that so many more people depend on defined-contribution plans—IRAs, 401(k)s, and the like—for income during retirement than did so during past economic downturns. Among households with any kind of pension coverage, the percentage that relied solely on a defined contribution plan rose from 38% in 1992 to 57% in 1998. Meanwhile, the percentage of retirees who counted only on traditional defined-benefit pensions was cut nearly in half, to 20%.

Old-style pensions, which provide a fixed payout tied to a worker’s age and years of service, tend to be insulated from the impact of economic and stock market cycles. But self-directed 401(k)s and IRAs, often heavily invested in equities, can be ravaged by the kind of bear market that began in early 2000. Today’s pre-retirees may need to protect themselves by allocating a larger share of their portfolios to fixed-income investments, the authors suggest.

The Weight Of The Bear

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 10.6% in October 2002—the sharpest gain for the market barometer since January 1987. If that turns out to have marked the end of the bear market, then it must be time to look back and see just how bad things were. By almost any measure, they were pretty awful, but it could have been worse. Here are a few facts, and a little perspective.

The latest decline was among the longest, though not the deepest, in modern market history. If it felt like this bear market was taking a thousand days to hit bottom, that’s because it was. From January 14, 2000, when the Dow achieved its peak, until October 10, 2002, when it may have reached its nadir, was exactly 1,000 days. The Dow lost 36.7% of its value during that time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which peaked a couple of months later, had dropped 48.6% by October 7.

The worst plunge in the Dow last century, ending on July 8, 1932, bottomed out after 1,001 days; during that time, its value dropped by 89.2%. The S&P 500, during the same dismal stretch, lost 86.2% in 998 days. During the second-worst 20th century bear market, the Dow fell by 46.6% during 660 days in 1973-74, while the S&P 500 slumped 48.2% in 630 days.

Of course, this bear’s decimation of the Nasdaq Composite was the worst in its history, clawing away more than 77% of the index’s value on March 10, 2000, when it recorded its all-time high. (Sources: Bloomberg Financial Markets, The New York Times, Smartmoney.com.)

In real terms, we’ve gotten off easy, at least so far. As devastating as these losses have been, at least they have come during a time of minimal inflation. That wasn’t the case from 1966 through 1982, when the Dow lost an average of 1.5% per year while the cost of living soared. If you take inflation into account, that long market decline (interrupted by several temporary respites) amounted to annual losses averaging 12%—for more than 16 years. In real, not nominal, terms, the value of a portfolio invested in the Dow would have lost almost 88%. (Source: Barron’s.)

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices (DOW, S&P 500) are unmanaged. One cannot invest directly in any indices.

How Not To Deplete Your IRA

Like many ideas pursued during the late 1990s’ bull market, taking early withdrawals from bulging IRAs may not have been such a hot notion to begin with. It normally makes sense to leave money in retirement accounts to accumulate for as long as possible, to take advantage of tax-deferred compounding. But many people did begin making so-called 72(t) distributions from IRAs, in some cases lured by the sense that such withdrawals would hardly be noticed, if account balances continued to grow as briskly as they had from 1995 through 1999. Of course, just the opposite has occurred—most retirement accounts have lost value, and those having annual distributions siphoned off may be shrinking toward oblivion. Now the IRS has stepped in to provide some relief.

The 72(t) loophole lets you take money out of tax-deferred retirement plans before you reach age 59½, the normal starting time for withdrawals not subject to a 10% penalty. The catch is, you have to commit to taking “substantially equal periodic payments” for at least five years or until you hit 59½, whichever comes later. And at the outset, you have to choose how those payments will be calculated. There are three options, the first two of which involve taking fixed payments that are designed, according to actuarial tables and assumptions about your account’s rate of growth, to exhaust your savings during your expected lifespan. The third possibility calls for recalculating withdrawals annually, depending on the actual account balance.

It is those first options that have gotten people into trouble. With account balances being drained by the bear market, those equal payments may amount to a larger and larger percentage of a nest egg, and could deplete the account entirely with years of retirement still ahead. So the IRS has decided to let IRA holders change their minds, and in October issued a revenue ruling that allows a one-time switch in distribution methods for 72(t) withdrawals. Those who opt for yearly recalculation of withdrawals will be able to adjust the amount they take out to reflect whether their portfolio has fared well or poorly in the preceding year. In today’s volatile market, that may be almost as good an idea as not taking early withdrawals at all.

Are Home Prices A Bubble?

In September, as the stock market continued to struggle, there was unsettling news about what has been one of the few economic bright spots: the real estate market. New housing starts dropped in August for the third straight month, and in the Midwest the plunge for single-family homes was a dramatic 20%. For those who consider the recent relentless growth in real estate prices a bubble bound to burst—remember technology stocks in 1999?—this latest data may look like the beginning of the end. But before you try to time this market by selling your home at the peak and renting while prices plummet—a move that a handful of homeowners have reportedly taken—it makes sense to consider the larger picture.

Houses are still affordable. In July, the Housing Affordability Index, an indicator compiled by the National Association of Realtors, stood at 132.5, reflecting that the median national income of $52,602 was 132.5% of the amount needed to qualify to buy a home for $162,800, the median price. The index was 5% higher in 1999, but considering that home prices have risen 22% since then, the falloff seems negligible.

Current price increases are part of a long-term trend. Since World War II, nationwide average nominal house prices (that is, excluding the impact of inflation) have never dipped. While there have been painful regional declines, particularly in parts of Texas, California, and the Northeast, the national average has inched ever upward.

The housing market has solid fundamentals. Irrational exuberance may have inflated the stock market bubble, but that’s not what is fueling the rise in home costs. Across the country, a trend toward tighter land-use controls is starting to limit the number of desirable building sites just when the population of potential homeowners is swelling and interest rates have hit rock bottom. That adds up to a situation in which the supply of homes is near historic lows, pushing prices to historic highs. Though mortgage rates will eventually rise, and home prices may level off or even retreat in some areas, most economists discount the likelihood of a housing market meltdown anytime soon.

A Trend That Could Pay Dividends

With even the IRS on its side, the downtrodden dividend may be poised for a comeback. In September, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it was more than tripling the reporting threshold for dividends, increasing from $400 to $1,500 the amount of dividend income that can be earned before taxpayers must file Schedule B with their Form 1040s. According to the IRS, this change will affect more than 15 million people, saving them a bit of paperwork on their 2002 tax returns.

This comes amid renewed interest in the advantages of dividends. Recent studies have found a link between a company’s dividend-paying proclivities and its stock market performance. In one, by Standard & Poor’s, companies in the S&P 500 stock index that paid dividends during 2000 and 2001 gained an average of 10.3%, while stocks with no dividends fell by 9.6%. Dividend-payers also outperform in the long run, according to the S&P report. The share price of companies that have steadily hiked dividends during the past 10 years increased fourfold, while the average S&P stock only tripled.

Yet many companies, strapped for cash or pursuing more tax-efficient ways to reward shareholders, have been cutting dividend payouts. The 3.5% drop in 2001 among S&P 500 companies was the biggest in half a century, and it followed a 2.5% decline in 2000. Dividend advocates such as Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, decry that trend, contending, among other things, that actual payouts to shareholders are a much better gauge of a company’s financial health than earnings figures are, because the latter so frequently exclude so-called one-time costs that may significantly affect the company’s performance. Siegel wants Congress to alter the tax code to let companies deduct the cost of dividends, while others have called for exempting dividend income from individuals’ taxes.

Little Differences Mean A Lot

When times were good, and returns high, it was tough to get excited about the hidden costs of 401(k) plans. With account balances rising steadily, what did it matter that charges for plan administration and trustee costs, added to investment expenses, could subtract a percentage point or more each year from the growth of employee assets in these self-directed retirement plans?

Now, of course, most retirement investments aren’t growing, and a new warning from benefits consultant Hewitt Associates shows just how costly high plan expenses can be. Hewitt calculated the growth of a tax-deferred account balance with three different total expense ratios: 0.5%, 1%, and 1.5%. For the purposes of this illustration, three hypothetical employees begin with 401(k)s worth $50,000. The model assumes they make no further contributions, and that they earn identical 8% average annual returns for 30 years. At the end of that time, the assets in the plan with 1.5% yearly expenses are worth $330,718. The other two scenarios—with annual charges of 1% and 0.5%—result in final balances of $380,718 and $437,748, respectively. The bottom line is that an employee in the least expensive plan will end up with $107,030 more than someone in the costliest plan—a bonus of almost 33%.

Hewitt’s point is that employers may not understand just how much they’re paying for their retirement plans, because providers often bundle administrative and trustee costs with investment management expenses and may not fully disclose total charges. Meanwhile, it’s the employees who bear the brunt of those fees. But this illustration also underlines a fact of investment life that is just as true outside company-sponsored retirement plans as it is within them. Seemingly small differences in expenses for mutual funds and other investment vehicles can compound into enormous discrepancies over time, rewarding those who keep an eye on costs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What is a payday loan?

What is a payday loan?

Payday loans are known as cash advances and check advance loans, just to name a few. What a Payday Loan is – a small short-term loan, anywhere from $50 to $1,500 with high interest.

Why would you get a payday loan?

When you need some quick cash because you’ve just been put in the unfortunate position of needing immediate cash and you are temporarily cash strapped.

How does that happen? Unexpected medical bill, car repair, or you might have to travel unexpectedly, like in the case of a death in the family. Sometimes because of unexpected bills you need quick cash to pay everyday expenses, like rent, groceries, utilities, etc. Whatever the reason, you need cash and you don’t have it.

Payday loans are popular because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

What are the benefits of payday loans?

You won’t have to go through the hassle of a credit check.
You can apply in person, on the phone or on the Internet.
The process takes less than 20 minutes.
The loan proceeds are automatically deposited into your bank account within 24 hours.
It’s affordable, at least immediately – you don’t have any up-front costs.
It’s discreet – nobody else is involved.
It’s secure – your financial information isn’t shared with others.
Ok, that makes sense. Those are enough reasons to get rid of the stress of being short of cash. It’s a “quick fix”. You can cover the shortage, and get on with your life. And you’ll be able to pay it back next payday, right? So you’ve solved your problem.

Where can you get a payday loan?

There are many payday loan companies.

How to Manage Personal Finances Right Way

Personal financial management can be hard if you do not know what you are doing. For others though, they seem to breeze right through it. Here is why they succeed where others fail:
First, try to realistically evaluate the state of your personal finances. Be honest. Sugarcoating the situation will not make your problems go away.

Always monitor the amount you spent on each of your transactions, regardless of how small or big it was. The same goes for any payments given to you – keep track of them. Sometimes, we may let the small transactions delude us into a false sense of security.

Planning ahead requires personal finance analysis. This allows you to understand and become aware of what exactly you need to pay for every month as regular expenses. You may then create a budget in advance that can allow you to have a comfortable window of opportunity for making payments without being penalized.

To avoid penalties, schedule your monthly payments on a calendar. Then keep track of payments made and pending payments.

You might also want to invest in a personal finance software which will serve as your personal finance tool. It is better to invest in one that is easy to operate yet can absorb many functions for you.
To get the right type of personal finance software, bear in mind that the software should permit you to absorb the skills and knowledge of using it in a very short span of time. The software should have a function for categorizing your expenses so that you need not get confused as to where to place your entries. There are obviously some headers of categories that all software have in common (such as Shopping Expenses, Bills, Bank Credits, and Bank Loans) but examine the aspects of your software that seem unique and were made just for that software product.

A web-based finance software is a good option to have since it simply requires you to enter a password to gain access to your software files. You also gain the ability to access your files from any point of the globe so long as Internet access is available. This is very ideal for mobile workers or frequent travelers. Just be sure you choose an uncommon password and do not allow others to know it so that you stay safe and secure online.

At the same time, web-based software can be updated frequently so you can enjoy the use of new and better features created by the software developer. You can even get an intelligent software that you can program to remind you when you have to do certain tasks like file income tax returns and pay any bills. It is vital that your personal finance software permit you to create budgets for certain purposes or tasks. You must be able to write reports with your personal finance tool so that you can stay on top of your financial planning and manage personal finances better. A multi-currency function would also be useful for those who use multiple currencies.