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Archive for August, 2009

Beer Prices on the Rise

August 31st, 2009 at 06:08 am

The cost of a beer is going up. Brewers across the world are hiking prices to compensate for lower sales volumes and higher commodity costs. This past Tuesday Anheuser-Busch made public its plans to raise prices. MillerCoors announced it is also raising prices but the reasons they site are in line with their company's regular fall increases not the economic environment.

Industry experts expected this but these companies will only be able to raise prices so much due to the fact that the consumer will not take lightly to price increases in the current economic climate. In fact Heineken will ind a tough environment to keep raising their prices as one of their major competitors (Corona) has said it will not increase prices.

Heineken and Corona are struggling more than Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors because consumers are choosing the less expensive brands. This will lead to a very tricky balancing act, to be able to raise prices to offset costs but not to lose push consumers to another brand of beer or from any purchase. This all comes at a tough time for Micro-brewers as they were enjoying increased market share but their higher prices might push beer drinkers back to lower priced beers like Bud Lite & Coors Light.

Credit Scores

August 28th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Your credit score is based on several factors:

1. Payment history - The biggest, about 35 percent of a FICO score. Any late payments or overdrafts will hurt your credit score for several years.

2. Amount owed - about 30 percent, This figure compares the amount you owe to your available credit. an example is somebody who has a $3,000 balance and a $3,000 credit limit. they're maxed out and will look worse than someone who owes $5,000 but has cards with $50,000 worth of limits. This is also the reason that you don't necessarily want to close accounts after you pay them off.

3. Length of history - about 15 percent, the longer your perfect record of on-time payments, the better your score.

4. New credit -- about 10 percent, constantly shopping for credit such as credit cards or bank loans can hurt your score because it makes you look desperate.

5. Miscellaneous-- about 10 percent is for a mix of credit cards, auto loans, and other types of credit.

Real Life Advice for Managing Your Credit Score

August 28th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Borrowing money today requires a higher credit score than it did two years ago. You pretty much need a 750 FICO score today to get the same treatment that a 700 score would of gotten you back then. So what is one to do in today's ever changing credit market.

1)Learn Your Score - You have three FICO scores, one from each of the three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, Trans Union.

2)Look For Mistakes - 1 in 3 people who pull their credit reports finds a mistake. If you do find one request a correction.

3)Debt To Credit Ratio - You should try not to have more than 20% debt to credit. Which means that if you have $10,000 in open credit you shouldn't have more than $2,000 in debt. You also should not have more the 50% debt on one single card, better to spread it out.

Helping to Fix Your Credit Score
Online simulators can show you how to increase your credit score.

1)Creditkarma.com - This simulator will calculate how your score might change if you do things such as take on more debt or pay down existing debt. What will happen if you close your old credit cards or make late payments. You will need your social security number but the firm states that it does not store this information. If you would rather not submit your social then there are 2 more sites for you to check out.

2) Credit.com and myFICO.com - These sites will calculate how your FICO score will change by reducing a loan balance or making late payments. You don't need your social security number but you will have to enter your debt and payment history.

At the end of the day you need to take responsibility for looking out for yourself and managing your finances. This info is just one tool to help you do that.

Saving Money for your Financial Future

August 19th, 2009 at 09:27 pm

Most people focus on how much money they earn or make. The difference being that when you go to work you earn money and when you invest you are looking to make money. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how much money you make if you spend it all. Whether on bills or comfort items but wouldn't you like to live a better lifestyle or your current one cheaper? In today's economy more and more people are looking for ways to save more money and to reduce their expenses. Here a re few ways that should help you.

Save on Property Taxes
For you homeowners your property taxes can be a big part of your monthly expenses and with house values dropping your property taxes aren't going down. What do you do about that? Grieve them.

Up to 60% of taxable property in the U.S. is assessed at a value that's higher than it should be, according to the National Taxpayer's Union. And that means the property is taxed at a higher rate as well. Additionally, the American Homeowner's Association references a Consumer's Report article that up to 40% of property appraisals have clerical errors in them.

Did you know that less than half of homeowners ever try to appeal. Many homeowners don't fight back because they either don't understand the process, or feel that the amount of research and paperwork won't be worth the time. Try calling your local grievance lawyer and you could see a significant savings. You can find one who will only charge you if you win, now you can't beat that.

Credit Card Interest Rates
Call your Credit Card company and see if they are willing to lower the rate. Keep an eye on your mail because if they raise your rate FDIC Consumer Protection law gives you 15 day grace period to opt out of that increase. They will probably close the account but you will still be paying the lower rate. This doesn't always work if your rate increase was due to a late payment.

Paying Down Credit Cards
Do you find yourself having a few cards to pay down and you send them all $100 a month? The best way to reduce your debt quicker is to pay the highest interest rate card first. For example if you have 3 cards 14%, 12% and 10% instead of paying $100 to each you should make the minimum monthly payment to the 10% & 12% card and pay what remains of that $300 to the 14% card. Once that is paid of you start paying down the next highest card.

Real Life Advice for Increasing your Credit Score

August 19th, 2009 at 09:22 pm

Borrowing money today requires a higher credit score than it did two years ago. You pretty much need a 750 FICO score today to get the same treatment that a 700 score would of gotten you back then. So what is one to do in today's ever changing credit market.

1)Learn Your Score - You have three FICO scores, one from each of the three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, Trans Union.

2)Look For Mistakes - 1 in 3 people who pull their credit reports finds a mistake. If you do find one request a correction.

3)Debt To Credit Ratio - You should try not to have more than 20% debt to credit. Which means that if you have $10,000 in open credit you shouldn't have more than $2,000 in debt. You also should not have more the 50% debt on one single card, better to spread it out.

Helping to Fix Your Credit Score
Online simulators can show you how to increase your credit score.

1)Creditkarma.com - This simulator will calculate how your score might change if you do things such as take on more debt or pay down existing debt. What will happen if you close your old credit cards or make late payments. You will need your social security number but the firm states that it does not store this information. If you would rather not submit your social then there are 2 more sites for you to check out.

2) Credit.com and myFICO.com - These sites will calculate how your FICO score will change by reducing a loan balance or making late payments. You don't need your social security number but you will have to enter your debt and payment history.

At the end of the day you need to take responsibility for looking out for yourself and managing your finances. This info is just one tool to help you do that.