Budget Your Way to a Fresh Start

 The fastest way that I know of to get a real fresh start on your financial life is to build a realistic budget and then stick to it!

  • Housing (rent or mortgage)
  • Insurance premiums
  • Car payment
  • Utilities
  • Child care costs
  • Debt payments (credit cards, personal loans, etc.)
  • Car and home maintenance

Then, list the expenses that you have some control over, that may change from month to month:

  • Groceries
  • Savings
  • Medical costs
  • Monthly fees and subscriptions
  • Gifts  (Christmas, birthday, etc.)
  • Entertainment

For those expenses that fall outside your normal weekly or monthly budget, you’ll want to be sure to set some money aside so that you are able to pay them when the time comes.  For example, if you pay your homeowner’s insurance annually, you’ll need to save a certain amount of money each time that you get paid for your homeowner’s premium.  (Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll save for it later or that you’ll come up with it somewhere – you won’t!)

Now, you’ve listed your income and your expenses.  The difference between your income and your expenses is your net gain or loss.  If your income is greater than your expenses, then you can probably save a little more or have a little extra spending money.  But, if your expenses outweigh your income, then you need to be looking for ways to cut corners.  Clip coupons on groceries, cancel the upper tier cable channels, skip dinner out once or twice a month, or if you’re seriously in the hole, you may decide that you need to find a second job or an additional source of income.  Whatever your financial situation – you cannot do anything about it until you’re aware of it!

Don’t just stop with the budget!

Now that you’ve made a budget, and you’re well aware of your true financial situation, don’t just walk away from it.  Pay attention to your spending.  Sit down each and every month and study your receipts.  How does your actual spending compare to your budget?  Are there places where you can cut corners?  And are there places where you underestimated the expenses and need to readjust your numbers?  The more you begin to pay attention to your spending, the more that you’ll notice when you overspend, and you’ll find that you will subconsciously start to live within your means very quickly.

Fortunately, with so many free tools available today, you can easily keep track of your budget on your phone, your laptop, or even with an old fashioned pen and paper.  Whichever way you choose, just be consistent.  Sit down, study your income and your expenses, pay your bills, and start putting back any excess for that emergency fund.  You’ll be surprised by how quickly you can get your finances under control if you just work at it!

Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Everyone Needs a Fresh Start Sometimes

Although you might think this website is directed toward those individuals who have less than perfect credit, that’s not necessarily the case. Even people with perfect credit can sometimes get in over their heads. You know what I mean… you overspend at Christmas, you have a financial emergency, lose your job, or simply get carried away because your excellent credit offers you so many credit options!

LendUp.comBefore you know it, your monthly minimum payments are eating away at your cash, and money gets really tight. Even though you’re still making those minimum payments, the interest is killing you, and its nearly impossible to get anything paid off. Yep, you could really use a fresh start, couldn’t you?

If your credit card bills are out of control, there are several things that you can do that won’t ruin your excellent credit.

Probably the easiest option is to transfer the balance (or balances) to a new lower or even a no interest credit card with a 15 to 18 month promotional period. This will not only lower your monthly payment, but it will also stop the interest from accumulating on the balances that you transfer. Just be careful and pay the new card balance down before the promotional period expires or the deferred interest may be added to the balance.

Equally as importantly, don’t charge anything on the cards that now have a zero balance or you’ll soon find yourself with even less cash in your monthly budget!

The other option that you might want to consider is a personal loan, like LendUp.com or Upstart Loans.  These loan providers specialize in personal loans to individuals who are determined to pay off credit cards, student loans, and other debts.  The interest rate is typically much lower than that on your credit cards, so you’ll not only cut your monthly payments, but you could save hundreds or even thousands in interest.

Whichever way you choose to go, you’ll save money and pay those bills off sooner.  Get your fresh start today!

Upstart Loans

 

Credit Cards After Bankruptcy

After filing bankruptcy, getting a credit card can be a real challenge…sometimes even the so called “Fresh Start” credit cards won’t give you the fresh start that you so desperately need. And those credit cards that do give you a chance? Well, trust me, you’ll pay a pretty penny for that chance.  Between the fees they charge just for opening the account and the high interest rate you’ll pay up front, it’s hardly worth getting the credit card at all.
Milestone® Gold MasterCard®

But that’s not the case with the Milestone MasterCard.  Milestone is one of the few truly “fresh start” credit cards.  Not only do they work with people who’ve had a previous bankruptcy, but they even advertise the fact up front.  And unlike those other cards – with Milestone’s competitive interest rate, you may just get that “fresh start” you need to get your credit back on track.

Yes, it is possible to not only get a credit card after bankruptcy, but also to get your credit score back on track.  It takes time, effort, and the right credit card.  Milestone.  Apply for yours today!

Get a Fresh Start with Fingerhut

Need to get a fresh start on your credit right now?  Looking for a fast, easy way to get that fresh start?

One of the hardest things about improving your credit score is having the patience to wait the months and sometimes years that it can take to dig yourself out of the credit “hole” that you’re in, and even worse, it seems like no one will give you the credit you need to actually begin the process of rebuilding your payment history, available credit, and so forth.  It can be an agonizing process… and you can’t afford not to get it right the first time.  (Every time you try for a credit card and are rejected, your score can drop even more!)

Fingerhut Credit AccountRather than take the risk of dinging your credit report for credit cards that you can’t get approved for, why not get that fresh start today with a Fingerhut Credit Account.  That’s right, Fingerhut Credit normally approves almost everyone for an account, and in the event that you don’t get approved right away, they may even offer you a special Fingerhut “Fresh Start” account.  So, either way, with Fingerhut, you’ll only have one credit inquiry on your account.  And at a time when every point matters, that single credit inquiry means a lot.

Once you are approved for a Fingerhut Credit account, you’ll want to use it sparingly and wisely.  Keep your balance around 30% of your total credit availability and make every payment on time, every time.  These are the two most critical areas of your credit report.  Total credit availability and payment history count for about 30% of your credit score EACH.  So, if you use your Fingerhut account properly, you can see significant improvement in your credit score relatively quickly because Fingerhut reports your credit availability and your regular payment history to the credit bureaus EVERY MONTH.  And these days your credit scores are updated several times a month, so every payment, every inquiry, and every purchase you make matters!

Even better, Fingerhut is literally one of the best companies when it comes to credit line increases, special no interest purchases, and super sales!  If you sign up for Fingerhut and you use your account regularly (and wisely), you’ll be amazed at the offers that you’ll get via email and regular mail.  (I recently qualified for their “Major Purchase Program,” where you can buy all new furniture, pay it off in a certain amount of time, and pay little or no interest!)

And the merchandise… there are literally hundreds of thousands of name brand, competitively priced products on their website.  Everything from clothing, shoes, jewelry, and appliances to rugs, linens, and yes, furniture for every room in your house!

When you consider all of the advantages to using Fingerhut to jumpstart your credit score, why wouldn’t you want to open a Fingerhut Credit Account?

Apply here and use the promo code NC248 to get $50.00 off your first order!

The Top Two Ways to Get a Fresh Start!

Need a fresh start on your credit but can’t qualify for a major credit card?

If you’ve had a severe financial setback, getting the credit that you need can be nearly impossible.  You know that you need to work on your credit score, but no one will give you credit… it’s a never ending circle.  You need credit to work on your credit score, but no one will give you credit, and every time you apply for a card and get rejected, it lowers your credit score a few more points!

How will you ever get the fresh start that you need to start rebuilding your credit?

Believe it or not, you can get that fresh start that you need, and it’s not nearly as hard as you think.  There are two ways that you can still get credit when it seems like no one will give you credit.  The first and probably most obvious way it to get a secured credit card.  Unlike conventional credit cards, you won’t be denied a secured credit card because you secure the credit card with a deposit of your own choosing, so you can make your credit “limit” whatever amount you want.  (I know, this is not the easy answer that you’re looking for, but trust me, it does work.)

Once you sign up for a secured credit card, you make the deposit, and then use the card just like a credit card to make purchases, and make regular payments on the balance.  The credit card company then reports your new credit limit, responsible usage and regular payment history to the credit bureaus every month.  In no time at all, you will begin to see the positive effect this will have on your credit score.

The other way that you can get a fresh start is by opening a Fingerhut Credit Account, which can actually be an unsecured account or, in the rare event that you don’t qualify, could be a special Fingerhut “fresh start” account.  I say that it can be one of the two because, even though nearly everyone qualifies for the first option, and open Fingerhut Credit Account, there are occasionally times when you may have to start with the second type of account.  Either way, opening an account with Fingerhut is truly one of the fastest ways to raise your credit score that I’ve ever seen.

Typically you’ll start out with a credit limit of about $300.00 – use it responsibly, make your payments on time every time, and you’ll not only see your credit score begin to improve, but you’ll also be amazed at how quickly your credit limit will be increased, and you’ll love the special offers (6 months interest free, no payments for several months, the Fingerhut major purchase program, and more!)

So, there you have it – the two best ways to improve your credit score quickly and almost painlessly!  All you have to do is pick one (or both) and get started!

Here’s a Fresh Idea for Your Tax Refund

Looking for a way to get a fresh start on your credit?

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit CardHere’s a great way to use this year’s tax refund to get a fresh start on your credit and still have a way to take that beach vacation you’ve been dreaming about all winter.  The year, instead of spending your entire refund on a trip to the beach (or the mountains, or wherever you want to go), use the money to make a deposit on a secured credit card, like the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card.

When you open the account and make your security deposit, you’ll give your credit a boost two different ways:

  1. Your new secured credit card will have available credit up to the amount of the security deposit that you put on the card, and credit utilization is an important part of your credit score. Increase your available credit and you’ll raise your credit score.
  2. When you use your new secured credit card, you’ll make payments on it just like a regular credit card, and those regular payments will be reported to the credit bureaus. Establishing a regular payment history will also help you to improve your credit score.

Best of all, you can still take that annual vacation you’ve been dreaming of, instead of using cash, you’ll simply use your new First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card, and then pay the balance off over time!  (And your entire tax refund will still be intact as the security deposit on the card!)

What better way to get a fresh start on your credit AND still get to go to the beach?

New Fingerhut Promo Code

Check out this month’s new Fingerhut Promo Code!

Fingerhut Credit AccountOpen a new Fingerhut account, spend $100 or more, and use this promo code to get $25.00 off your first order!

But wait, this site is about getting a fresh start on your credit… what does a Fingerhut promo code have to do with getting your credit back on track?

Believe it or not, opening a new Fingerhut Credit Account is one of the best ways to improve your credit score!

Actually there are several ways to improve your credit with Fingerhut, especially if your credit is less than perfect.

  • First and foremost, Fingerhut is one of the few places where you can actually get credit when you’ve had a serious setback… lost a job, gotten a divorce, or gotten behind in your payments.  In fact, Fingerhut has given more people a fresh start than just about anywhere else!
  • Second, a Fingerhut Credit Account will help you to establish a good payment history.  Not only will your payments be affordable, but Fingerhut will report your payments to the credit bureau every month.  In just a few months, you should begin to see an improvement as your payment and credit history grows!
  • Third, a Fingerhut Credit Account will help with your available credit, which is shown on your credit report under credit utilization.  Simply keep your Fingerhut credit utilization around one third of your available credit and you’ll see even more improvement on your credit score!
  • And finally, Fingerhut offers thousands of brand name products at extremely competitive prices, so you won’t have any problem finding exactly what you want!

So go ahead, treat yourself to something new and get a fresh start on your credit with Fingerhut!  Don’t forget to use the promo code NC698 to get $25.00 off your first order!

Tax Refund Time is a Great Time for A Fresh Start!

Why not use your tax refund to get that fresh start on your credit this year?

Instead of spending your annual tax refund windfall on something that you probably don’t really need, why not use it to get a fresh start on your credit?  (You can do both!)  Maybe you have less than perfect credit, or no credit history at all, but you want to improve your score… perhaps in the near future, you want to buy a car, get a new apartment, or even buy your first house?  With the right credit score, you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest, and it all starts when you start working on your credit report and improving your credit score.

How can your tax refund help you to improve your credit score?

Using your tax refund to improve your credit score is easy!  Simply apply for a First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card and use a portion of your tax refund to make the required security deposit on the credit card (between $200 and $2,000 – you choose the amount), and then, simply use your new credit card to buy whatever it was you were going to buy with your tax refund.  Then, make timely, regular payments on the credit card.  In turn, First Progress will report your good payment history to all three credit bureaus each and every month – if you’re like most people, you’ll start to see results in just a few months!

What could be better?  You still get to buy that new television, take that little vacation, or whatever else it was you wanted, and you can use your tax refund to get that fresh start on your credit that you’ve been hoping for!

 

Create a Get Out and Stay Out of Debt Plan

Being in debt feels awful – period and end of story. You feel out of control and you feel an incredible aching weight on your shoulders as you try and work a solution to the mounting financial debt. The only good news is that everyday people get out of debt and stay out of debt – you can do this too!


Get Out of Debt Step #1 – Get The Whole Family Involved In The Solution. Often times, it is the combined spending of kids and parents that helps move a family into debt with cell phones, cell phone plans, clothes, and eating out frequently to name only a few of the common reasons that drive up spending. The same people that were responsible for the debt are also responsible for getting the family out of debt and meeting the new financial plan. Several family meetings will be required to explain why the family is in the situation and how the debt will be eliminated.

Get Out of Debt Step #2 – Forgive Yourself & Accept Financial Mistakes Were Made. This is one of the most vital steps in getting out of debt. If you cannot forgive yourself, and more than likely your spouse, the reasons why you got into debt in the first place, then your get out of debt plan will not work. You need to accept and forgive that financial mistakes were made and deeply understand your current financial situation. Once you have accepted and forgiven yourself for the financial mistakes, you have a clean slate to move forward.

Get Out of Debt Step #3 – Determine How The Debt Happened & Stop It. Often times, the spending on extraordinary financial items such as cars, clothes, and incredible houses are the main culprits of a debt situation. Do everything you can immediately to stop these enormous debt creators. Stop buying expensive clothes, stop buying furniture, and stop buying anything not essential. Stopping the debt so you can start to pay it back is essential.

Get Out of Debt Step #4 – Create a Fixed Pay Back Period with a Budget. After you have stopped the debt, it is time to create a fixed payback time period and a realistic budget. See if you can pay off all your debt in 18 to 36 months. This seems like an incredible short period of time but the brevity of the period combined with incredible discipline to a budget will make it possible. The basic process is that you have to add up all your debt plus the projected interest and divide by 18 months or 36 months and that becomes your monthly debt payment. Then, you have to create and abide by a strict family budget to create the monthly payments.

Get Out of Debt Step #5 – Create Extra Income To Pay Off The Debt. Downsizing to a less expensive car, selling unneeded items, and taking odd jobs are all ways to create income and apply that income to pay down the debt faster. This is where having the entire family as a force to enable faster debt pay off really comes in handy. Finding unneeded items to sell will help significantly to pay the debt off faster.

Getting Out Of Debt Is Never Easy, But It Can Be Done. Involving the entire family is critical and it can serve to bring a family closer together as opposed to bring it apart. A morning shoveling snow or raking leaves as a family will make extra money for debt and make you even more proud as a family. The critical parts of debt reduction are forgiving yourself, stopping the debt, maintaining a strict budget so you pay off debt quickly, and creating extra income to pay the debt down. Now, smile, grit your teeth, and pay off debt.

by

‎12-19-2016 07:00 AM

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

By Chad Storlie

A New Year, A Fresh Start

With the arrival of 2017, most of us turn our thoughts to our finances… be it the fact that all those Christmas bills are beginning to roll into our inbox and our mailbox, or because we’re thinking of the upcoming tax return filing deadlines, or even if we just want to get a fresh start on our credit in the months to come.  Whatever your reason for seeking that fresh, new start on your credit, there are a couple of things you’ll want to consider before you do anything else.


First and foremost, to really get a handle on your credit score, and to see what you should do to improve that score, you need to know your credit score… and not just one of those three digit numbers, either.  You need to know all three credit scores from all three credit bureaus.

Why do you need to know all three credit scores?

Believe it or not, all credit scores are not the same.  Your score can vary anywhere from a few points up to a hundred points!  And trust me, if you’re buying a house or that new car, one hundred points on your credit score can cost you a lot of money in interest (and it could even prevent you from getting that loan if they only check the one with the low score). So, instead of just knowing one credit score, you really need to know all three of them. Only when you are armed with ALL of the information will you be able to truly improve your score and get that fresh start you are working toward.

What do you do once you have your scores?

Once you have your credit scores and your full credit report, the very first thing that you’ll want to do is to study the entire report carefully.  Look for inaccuracies… not just in what you owe or who you owe, but pay attention to your personal information, your employers, your addresses, and your credit inquiries.  Identity theft doesn’t just entail someone getting a credit card in your name.  These days, identity theft stretches all the way to people stealing tax returns, taking out mortgages in other people’s names, and even stealing healthcare services.

If you find an inaccuracy, file a dispute (most credit companies will even let you file a dispute online), get to the bottom of it, and then do your best to get it fixed, even if you have to hire an outside firm like Lexington Law Sign-Up Page. Trust me, it will be worth whatever it costs.

But, I don’t know anything about credit!

Don’t worry.  Most of us didn’t know anything about credit or credit reports when we first started monitoring our credit score… it wasn’t until we went to buy that first car or even that first house that we had to learn just how important those three numbers are to you and your future.  The most important thing that you can do to get that fresh start is to simply begin…