Why Students Need to Play the Credit Game

Students are facing a battlefield of differing opinions in the world of personal finance. When you don’t have the greatest financial background in the world, it can feel like every side is making good points. It can also feel like you should just be a sideline observer. You can always get credit when you’re older, right?

Well, the truth is that you’re going to have to prove yourself in order to work your way up to the supposed ladder of personal finance. You can’t get a home loan if you haven’t proven that you can handle smaller amounts of credit. If you really think about it, this makes perfect sense. No one is going to trust you with the keys to a brand new sportscar if you’ve wrecked six normal cars. You’re proving that you can’t handle the basics when it comes to driving. Well, the credit card companies have realized that there’s a connection between a good credit file and someone who is going to make their bills every single statement cycle. If you’re someone that doesn’t have good credit, it is most likely linked to paying accounts late — or worse, not at all.

You have to make sure that you are educating yourself about credit in all of its forms. A lot of people are so afraid of credit that they refuse to get any at all. This is a short sighted view. What about when you’re ready to get a vehicle? You’re not going to be able to do anything because you haven’t established any credit history. What if you fell into a bind and you needed to borrow money quickly? There are payday loans in one hour, but that doesn’t mean that you want to get those either. The reality is that you have to have good credit to get a loan that you can actually pay off. Payday loans have high interest rates, far higher than any credit card. Even if you only wanted to have a credit card for travel and emergencies, you could do that. You would still save a lot of money in terms of interest costs. Interest, as you will remember, is completely profit to the credit card company or the loan company that gives you the payday loan.

Now is the perfect time to get not only educated about credit, but personal finance in general. Where do you want to take your life? What do you ultimately wish to do? You will find that it’s going to take time to really answer those questions, but they are definitely worth exploring.

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Getting a Spouse to Get Honest About Credit

The Setup

Trying to educate yourself about credit can be difficult, but it’s nothing like getting a spouse to get honest about credit. If you have a spouse that seems to spend money like it’s no tomorrow, you have a problem that has to be addressed right away. You see, if you don’t address the problem, all of the saving and investing that you’re doing is really being cancelled out by the spending that your spouse is doing. It’s easy to get mad, and it’s certainly easily to give your spouse the silent treatment. But this is only going to create arguments. The might not be able to really see what you’re seeing in them. This is a problem that has a few solutions. Ready to get started? Read on…

The Real Problem

The real problem is not only a lack of communication, but it’s also a mismatch in values. People do what they value and care about. If credit is important to you, then you’re going to do just about anything to protect and preserve that credit. However, if your spouse doesn’t value credit, then they don’t think too terribly much of their spending. They might not be able to see how destructive their spending is because you’re walking behind them to fix the mistakes that undoubtedly arise. This is something that can indeed make you angry. Yet anger is the last thing that you want to bring into this.

If your spouse finds that you’re just waiting to yell at them, they’re going to feel like you just can’t be satisfied with anything that they do. They also might feel like you’re trying to take away their fun. This is obviously a delicate situation and you need to handle it that way. The last thing that you want is to cause further problems in your marriage.

Not seeing eye to eye about finance is something that’s actually quite common. Spouses have to get together and find common ground in order to reach their financial goals.

A Real Solution

The best solution is to try to see where your spouse is coming from. We can make guesses about your spouse, but you’re the only person that actually knows how your spouse is going to react. Chances are good that they’re going to be a little upset. They might not know as much about credit as you do, and that makes them feel inferior. The best thing that you can do is try to take the motions out of it. Show them all of the goals that you have in mind for the future. When they see that small chances really can lead to bigger results, they might feel ready to get on board with you.

This isn’t something that should be overnight, either. That’s the biggest mistake that people make when it’s time to get things together. They think that rushing through it will tie up all of those loose ends. However, that just makes it worse.

Don’t forget that you need to ask them about what they want as well. Some resentment can definitely rise up if you’re trying to make a lot of changes to the family budget, but you never include their goals into the mix. Stop and ask your spouse what they really want for the future. Get them to really visualize. It’s been shown that when people have a chance to really see what they want to bring into their future, they’re a lot more likely to stick with the new plan…even when things get rough. Trying to get a family budget back under control isn’t for the timid. You’re going to have a lot of emotions in play but you want to stay the course. Your financial future is worth everything, you know!

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The Best Way to Obtain Adequate Fraud Protection

Fraud is frighteningly common in the UK and with over 80,000 cases of identity fraud reported already in 2011, there is no wonder why credit providing businesses are seeking protection from experts.

Providing finance solutions to consumers can be an effective way of driving sales through the door but without modern fraud protection tools in place, the business is exposed to deceitful customers. The forecasted figures may initially represent high sales but if a customer fraudulently avoids repaying then the revenue is never incurred from the sale and the business makes a big loss.

Fraud Protection

There are comprehensive tools available from certain credit reference agencies which enable for in-depth customer tracing, in order to recover debt. Such programmes are designed to pinpoint exact customer locations based on multitudes of data, sourced from a variety of state records.

Still, through the advice from these agencies there is an underlying notion that ‘prevention is better than cure’. More and more businesses are choosing to reinforce their initial customer screening system before approving them for credit. The approach is much more effective than chasing fraudsters all over the globe.

Know Your Customer policies are becoming more common amongst credit providers – requiring meticulous verification of customers/clients before establishing a finance agreement. However, it can be difficult for businesses to execute such detailed identity verification without the latest KYC assisting tools.

Some programmes can now verify customer data in seconds – adding a subtle but effective layer to a provider’s shield against fraud.
When operating through an agency it is important to determine if their solutions comply with current Anti-money Laundering legislations. If so, associating businesses can remain confident that their credit will only go out to legitimate customers and if a fraudster should slip through the cracks, they have the tools at hand to track them down and recover debt.

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The Employer Credit Check – Just One More Reason To Get Your Finances Right

The power of getting out of debt can’t be denied…or can it? Lately we’ve been seeing a few inflammatory messages on forums and the like about how fixing one’s credit isn’t worth it, now that the economy has become so uncertain. There are so many thoughts circling the whole concept that we really don’t know where to start. Yet the truth is that there are numerous reasons to fix your credit. Other than the emotional boost it gives your life, we can think of one practical reason to clean up your credit: your future employer.

In the past, it used to be that the only way you were going to get credit checked is if you tried to apply for a government job. That’s no longer the case — even the gas stations are asking for credit checks and background checks, which can be rather shocking. You really want to push forward and get a job so you can get out of debt, and here you have some employer looking at your credit and making assumptions about you. The assumption in most business circles is that people with challenged credit are going to make risky decisions at work that could cost the company money. Therefore, the top applicants in a pool are always going to be the ones that not only have the experience that the company is looking for, but they also have near flawless credit.

Employer Credit Check

We’re not saying that there’s no job that you can get into here, but we are saying that the worse your credit becomes, the harder it will be to land the job that you really, really, really want. Especially if you feel that it has a long term future — a job that you can not only hold onto for a while, but a job that you can actually get promoted at. Those are the jobs that people want to chase the hardest, and they already have enough competition as it is.

So before you go to apply for a job, keep in mind that they’re probably going to ask permission to pull your credit report. This means that before you even go into your interview or try to plan for your resume to go out, you’re going to want to handle your credit.

What do we mean by that? Well, simply put you’re going to want to make sure that you actually look at your credit report. Check things out for yourself — are there any errors? Did they get your address right? Are there duplicates of trade lines? You might think that it benefits you, but it really doesn’t to have anything that isn’t correct. If there are negative things that aren’t yours, you need to immediately start disputing things. Make sure that you send all of your requests in writing. Email isn’t going to cut it, and neither is the phone. It’s too easy to brush either option off, and that’s not what you want.

The good old-fashioned letter is really what’s going to save the day here. You want to make sure that you actually tap into getting your dispute letters out there, and have them sent certified mail — return receipt requested of course. This is the only way that you’re going to make progress on taking care of your credit report.

Keep in mind that you’re probably not going to be able to take care of everything overnight. However, it’s always good to get a start on things as early as possible. If an employer brings up your credit report, you can always show proof that you’re trying to get it taken care of — especially if you’ve been the victim of identity theft. That’s never cool.

Overall, you truly have the power to seize control of your credit report, but you have to decide right here — right now — what you want to do. It’s easy to ignore it and let the problems build, but that’s not going to get you your dream job. The top applicants are decisive, so if you really want your life to be different, you’re going to have to push forward and take action today!

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Married with Clean Credit – Not So Fast!

Ah, marriage. One would think that the bonds of marriage are so pure that they could never be touched by anything as modern and mundane as credit, but you might be surprised. In fact, finances are cited as the #1 reason why people divorce. Things can start out nicely and then spiral downward quickly — job losses, illnesses, broken businesses and more are all factors that can really stress a marriage. Sure, sometimes you can work your way through it, but if you have a spouse that wants to work it out and a spouse that just wants to end it, then it’s hard to actually work things out.

If you got married with clean credit and your spouse doesn’t have it, you might think that you don’t have to really worry about anything. Yet that’s not the case at all. In fact, if you don’t work out an additional agreement such as a pre-nuptial agreement, you are actually responsible for your spouse’s debts, and they are responsible for yours. That is why it’s so important to actually talk about finances before you get married. Some people find the subject unromantic, and it could be seen that way.

Yet if you look at it from a different perspective, isn’t it right to be totally honest with your partner on every subject? You wouldn’t jump into marriage with someone that is undecided about having children if you really wanted children, so why would you dive into a new life with someone without even stopping to see what their financial picture looks like?

We’re not suggesting that you do this out of cruelty or malice — you are asking about their financial history because the two of you will have goals that directly depend on everyone having a decent financial history. For example, you probably want to get a house for you and your new spouse, right? Well, if one of you has bad credit, that’s going to result in higher interest rates and bigger monthly payments – for the same house that a couple with moderate to great credit would have a much lower monthly payment for. Unless you plan on paying for everything in cash, your credit score is going to matter. Unless you never want to own anything that needs to be paid for with credit, your credit score is always going to matter.

Clean Credit

Let’s say that your spouse really does have bad credit. It’s not really the end of the world if they do — you just have to make sure that you work out a plan to get the other spouse out of debt. The point here is that you don’t want to get angry, start yelling, or otherwise make your spouse feel like they’re less of a human being because they don’t have great credit like you do. Perhaps they don’t have the same background in personal finance that you do? You can point them to any of our personal finance articles, or you can also look for a non-profit debt management company in your area. They would be more than happy to work out a payment schedule for your spouse that can help them get out of debt.

Don’t forget about explaining debt consolidation to your spouse. By combining all of their debts into one that has just one monthly payment, they can get out of debt faster. In addition, you will need to combine two incomes in order to get the debt paid down faster. It might mean that you’ll sacrifice some of the creature comforts that people look forward to, but it’s better than trying to figure out how you’re going to make your regular bills on top of the debt that your spouse has.

It’s going to be a challenging time, but as long as you support each other, the two of you will be just fine!

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