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How Paying Rent On Time Can Improve Your Credit Score

How Paying Rent On Time Can Improve Your Credit Score

If you always check your credit report annually and are aware of your score and what affects it, then you probably have noticed things like your car payment and credit card payments on your report. But if you’re trying to improve your score and need more history or positive items on your report, what can you do without going into more debt? The answer may be something you’re already doing – paying rent. Most people think that only a mortgage payment will show up and affect their credit, but your landlord may also be reporting your rent payments to the credit bureaus. And if they’re not, and you want them to, here’s the scoop on how to make your rent payments work for your credit score. How Rent Affects Credit Until recently, rent only affected your credit negatively. If you missed a payment, broke your lease, or incurred fees or costs for damages, your landlord may have reported you to collections for failing to pay. These items then appear on your credit report and stay for seven years, for all future landlords or lenders to see. But if your record is good or you’ve turned a new leaf, why shouldn’t you get credit for all of those on-time payments you made? Rental Payment Services Now, you can pay your rent through a rental payment service that will report your on-time payments to Experian. This allows you to build your credit history if it’s minimal or repair it if you need a boost. Landlords will appreciate this service because when they pull a prospective tenant’s credit report (like most do,)...
How Your Car Payment Could Be Ruining Your Retirement

How Your Car Payment Could Be Ruining Your Retirement

You may have heard that there is a crisis on the retirement front in the United States. With the threat of social security running out, it’s more important than ever to save for retirement and prepare for your future. But many Americans are strapped down with expenses and debt from other sources, and have nothing leftover to put toward their retirement funds. Consider the following plan for shifting your finances around to allow for more savings for retirement. The Car Loan Problem By replacing your car payments with retirement fund payments, you could potentially build a million-dollar retirement fund, all by becoming a little bit more complacent with your paid-off car. But most Americans have a hard time with complacency. In fact, Experian Automotive found that Americans owe $987 BILLION in car loans. The breakdown is even scarier: the average consumer borrows about $29,550 for a new car, paying $493 monthly with a 4.63 percent interest rate for an average of 67 months, and the number of consumers opting to lease cars are increasing as well. Unfortunately as time goes on, the interest adds up on these payments while the value of your  not-so-new anymore car goes down. So by the time that shiny new car is paid off, it’s worth much less than what you paid for it, and you paid thousands more than the price tag, as well. Now your eye is wandering towards newer cars, and the cycle starts over again. But what if it didn’t? Breaking the Cycle Instead of jumping back into a car payment once you pay off your car, what if you...
How to Save Thousands by Changing These 4 Daily Habits

How to Save Thousands by Changing These 4 Daily Habits

The cost of living isn’t getting any cheaper, and if you’re like many Americans, your income might not be matching the growing cost of living. When it comes to saving money or even just making your regular payments, where can you find the extra you need to live a little more comfortably? As it turns out, Americans are wasting thousands of dollars each year by blowing money on these trivial expenditures. Eating Out For the first time ever, Americans spent more of their food money on eating out than they do on groceries. According to a USDA Economic Research Service Report, the average amount spend on food per household was just under $6000, meaning that about $3000 of that was spent on eating out, per household, per year. But it doesn’t stop with eating out. Another survey by Accounting Principals found that coffee drinkers spend approximately $1,092 each on commercial coffee each year. So if you’re a regular coffee drinker AND enjoy eating out, that’s over 4 grand each year out of your budget. Imagine what you could do with that extra $4000 if you cut your eating out. Maybe pay off your car? Take a vacation? Pay for Christmas? Smoking This habit takes its toll not only on your wallet, but on your and your family’s health as well, which are connected. The Campaign for Tobacco-free kids found that the average smoker spends about $1500 per year on tobacco. In states with more significant tobacco taxes, that cost is even higher. This yearly amount doesn’t take into account the cost of healthcare for tobacco-related illnesses, which is also...
Most Commonly Missed Budget Items

Most Commonly Missed Budget Items

Whether you’re new on the budget scene or have some experience under your belt, everyone has to deal with unexpected expenses at some point. The more thought you put into your budget and in identifying as many unplanned for expenses that could pop up as possible, the less stress you’ll be under when it comes to paying for them. Here are some of those possible expenses that are often forgotten about until it’s time to pay for them. Regular car maintenance Most people are quick to list “gas” as one of their most common expenses, but what about necessary routine maintenance for your car? Some other car-related expenses you should probably include are: Oil changes Registration Seasonal tune-ups Car washing and detailing Lawn Care Another common expense that slips people’s minds is lawn and landscape care, probably because these expenses seem to be seasonal. The needs for your yard are obviously specific to your preferences and also your geographic location, but may include: Grass Seed Fertilizer Gardening tools Seeds, bulbs Equipment and equipment maintenance Kid Expenses Oh, what a long and vast list this could be. From little league fees to field trips dues, kids seem to be a never-ending source of surprise expenses for their parents. Don’t get blindsided by your kids unexpected fees again, by including these expenses in your budget: School pictures Kids summer camps, sports, etc. School registration, yearbook, and other beginning/end of year fees Clothing/shoes for random growth spurts Haircuts Dental work Many people are surprised when they have a dental emergency and find out that dental work is not covered by their health...
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