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Your Credit Score Does Matter and Here’s How To Bring It Up

Credit Score

I’m sure you have tried applying for credit before, so you’ve heard the term credit score. However maybe you’re not exactly sure what it signifies. Your credit score is a number that ranges between 300 and 850. This score takes into account amount of debt, bill paying ability, number of credit lines, length of credit history, and assortment of credit. So why does credit matter? Basically your credit score is your key to opportunity.  If you possess a good score it can help unlock financial benefits such as auto, business, and home loans. On the other hand a bad score can prevent you from financing a car or leasing an apartment.

That being said, you should try to shoot for getting a credit score above 720. This can help you get preferential financing terms. Some examples of this are; lower interest rates on your auto, credit card, or mortgage loans. However there is a catch. Your credit score isn’t carved in stone. Unexpected circumstances like, increased cost of living, job loss, or medical bills which can sometimes lead to missed payments can alter your financial well-being.

So what can those seeking credit for the first time do to build their score? Start of small by getting a smartphone contract and make your payments on time. Do this for 12 months and then open up a credit card with a small balance. When you use it make sure to pay it off every month and make sure to never pay it passed the due date or miss a payment. It’s possible that a single 30-day late payment could drop your score somewhere between 50 to 110 points. Also make sure that you don’t take out too many lines of credit. These are the main factors that make up 80% of how your credit score is determined.

The best way to check your credit score is to get a free report. By law you can do this once a year for free from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. You’ll only need basic personal information such as your name and SSN to access your report. There are also apps and websites that you can use to check your credit score for free.  It’s important that you check it at least once a year to make sure that your credit is in good shape. Also to make sure that someone hasn’t stolen your identity and opened account that you weren’t aware of.

Once you understand, you will be able to start managing your credit using these simple guidelines.

1. Remember which factors make up your credit score.
2. Exercise good spending and payment practices.
3. Make sure to check your score once a year and inquire about significant changes.
4. If you plan on borrowing money for the first time, be patient and go slow.

3 Browser Extensions That Save You Money

I love technology. I love it so much that I try to incorporate whenever I can, even when it involves shopping.

Starting from the comfort of my browser and favorite pair of sweats, I am able to buy new books, grocery shop, or order just about anything I want all while saving time so I can focus on other things. While the convenience is wonderful, I’m also able to incorporate savings into this process.

Here are 3 browser extensions I use to find the best deals while not wasting a lot of time.

Honey: Helps you find coupon codes everywhere

The Honey plug-in aggregates every possible discount or coupon code offered on an online store, helping you save money immediately.

Let’s say you head over to Gap’s website to buy a new pair of jeans. The moment you open up the site, the Honey extension automatically informs you how many coupon codes are available for the store.

Once you are ready to check out, you simply click on the Honey extension, copy the code you want to use, and paste it into the promotion box.

After you’ve purchased enough items with the extension, you have the opportunity to receive cash back from the app.

Direct savings as well as cash back is a smart way for you to save money and time.

Amazon Assistant: Saves you time and money on Amazon

Amazon Assistant is the official browser extension for Amazon. It provides you with a handy product and price comparisons so you not spending hours searching for a cheaper option online.

It also allows you to automatically check out Amazons Deal of the Day, which is the products that are specially marked down for one day.

One of the best things about this plug-in is that it has a feature that takes you straight to AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a program that will automatically donate a percentage of your purchase to different charities at no cost to you. 

Price Alarm: Helps discover the best prices on Amazon and eBay

Price Alarm is an extension that is setup to track prices on both eBay and Amazon so you don’t have to continually check that listing like it’s an ex’s twitter.

All you have to do is find a product you are interested in on Price Alarm’s website, click on the price alarm button, and type in the price you would like to pay for the product. As soon as the that product reaches the price you typed in, you’ll get an tweet or email alerting you.

3 Reasons You Will Never Be a Millionaire

3 Reasons You Will Never Be a Millionaire

Wealthy people generally aren't born that way. A lot of them devote their lives building their fortunes by working hard, spending minimally, saving a lot and investing intelligently. It might seem like a simple plan, but the fact that the large majority of Americans fall short of millionaire status demonstrates that it's complicated.

Keep reading if you would like to learn what you might be doing that’s keeping you out of the millionaire's club or find out how you can change your ways and build your own nest egg.

1. You’re not saving enough
If you’re not saving money, you’ll never be rich. It's often ignored but it’s tough to get around that evident principle. Even if you earn six or seven figures, if you’re spending it all, you still net zero.

Things you can do
Start by saving as soon as possible. As soon as you start putting your money to work, the less you truly have to save. You'll need to start saving $671 each month if you are 35 in order to reach $1 million by the time you turn 65, this assumes that you earn an 8% annual return. You'll have to save $1,698 a month if you start at age 45 to hit $1 million by the time you turn 65.

What can you do to start saving? The first step is you need a budget. Outline all of your expenses to see where your money is going. This will help you figure out where you can cut costs and save. Any small percentage you can come up with is a good start. Any time you get a bonus or extra cash put it directly into savings before you have time to spend it.

2. You’re living outside your means
It can put you in debt if you are spending more than you earn. If it makes you feel better, you’re not alone: According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, about one in three American families carry credit card debt from month to month. Among those household’s that are carrying debt month to month, the average credit card debt is roughly $16,000.

Things you can do
As stated already, you need a budget to make sure that you have more money coming in than you do going out. As easy as it is to get credit, it's just as easy to fall into thinking that you are able to afford more than you truly can. 

Even if you get to the point of being rich, you should probably still try to live like you're not. Studies and surveys have shown that a majority of millionaires don't actually think of themselves as being wealthy.  If you never think of yourself as being well off, and you sustain the same lifestyle after your income and savings increase, you should be able to save even more towards your short term and long term goals without losing an ounce of well-being.

3. You’re drowning in debt
As you hopefully already know, debt can be a threat to your financial happiness. If you're continually paying credit card bills and racking up interest fees, you’ll never have a chance to save money.

However not all debt is necessarily bad. Borrowing money to go to college, to get professional training or maybe start your own business might help enhance your career and income potential. Particularly in a low interest rate situation, the investment could be well worth it. Truthfully, borrowing money is one of the best funding strategies used by wealthy individuals with about 60% choosing to use bank credit before taking from their own assets for fast cash.

Things you can do
If you’re already having difficulty with debt, make certain that you to develop a repayment plan. A good approach is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Once you get rid of that debt then the more you save on interest. An alternative strategy is to pay off the smallest debt first to provide yourself an emotional boost and inspire you to keep dwindling down your debt.

If you're thinking about taking out any new loans, be certain that you understand all the terms, including your interest rate and repayment details. This will help you decide whether or not that it is really worth it.