9.21.18 Clark Stinks; Credit freezes are free now!

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Here’s What Really Happens to Your Credit When You Seek Debt Counseling


If you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to determine the best method for getting rid of it. Snowball? Avalanche? Consolidation? Should you freeze your credit card in a block of ice, or cut it up and toss it in the trash?

If questions about paying off debt have your head swimming, it might be worth your time to speak with a debt counselor. Also referred to as credit counselors, these are trained individuals who can review your financial situation and make recommendations to improve it. They might help you organize your credit accounts, obtain a credit report or develop a budget.

Depending on your situation, a debt counselor may even help you set up a plan to pay off your debt. More on that later — for now, let’s focus on what a debt counselor does and whether you could benefit from working with one.

When Should I Work With a Debt Counselor?

If you’re afraid you can’t make your debt payments each month, or you feel like you’ll never get out of debt no matter how hard you try, it can be helpful to speak with a debt counselor. As an impartial third party, a qualified counselor can provide advice and tips based on your specific situation.

How Can I Find a Debt Counselor?

To find a reputable debt counselor, check out the Financial Counseling Organization of America or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Each maintains a directory of member organizations — most of them nonprofits — that serve a variety of needs.   

A legitimate organization will be happy to provide information about its services for free, without requiring you to disclose your financial situation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends that you ask potential debt counselors these questions:

  • What services do you offer?
  • How is credit counseling offered?
  • Do you offer free educational materials?
  • What are your fees?
  • What if I can’t afford to pay the fees?
  • Will I have a formal written agreement with you?
  • What are the counselors’ qualifications?
  • How are your employees paid?

As always, be sure to get everything in writing and read the fine print before signing up for any service. The CFPB recommends avoiding organizations that pressure you into a debt management plan before fully considering your financial situation.

What Can I Expect When I Meet a Debt Counselor?

Your first meeting with a debt counselor, whether in person or on the phone, should last about an hour. After the call, the counselor will typically provide a written report with the details of your situation and recommendations. This report won’t be packed with surprises. It will review what you discussed and the next steps, which you likely discussed as well.

Even if a debt management plan isn’t right for you, a debt counselor may still be able to provide services to improve your finances. A debt counselor can review your credit report and help you dispute errors. They can also guide you toward free educational resources to boost your financial know-how.

What’s a Debt Management Plan?

A woman uses a calculator, a notepad and her laptop to work on her finances.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

A debt management plan rolls all your debts into one monthly payment to make it easier to manage. If you choose to use one, your debt counselor’s organization will set up the plan and work with your creditors to make sure everyone gets paid on time.

Debt management plans usually don’t reduce your debt, but they may reduce your interest rates by as much as half or extend your payment timeline to make paying your debt more manageable.

You can expect a setup fee of no more than $ 50 to participate in a debt management program and pay your debt through your debt counselor’s organization. Monthly fees are normal for debt management plans, but they also shouldn’t be more than $ 50.

Don’t plan to keep racking up debt, though — your lines of credit will be closed or suspended while you’re in a debt repayment plan.

Initiating a debt management plan could cause a dip in your credit score, because it indicates you’re struggling with your finances. But as you build a payment history through the plan, your score will likely improve.  

What Other Options Do I Have?

You don’t have to be seeking a debt management program or headed toward bankruptcy (debt counseling is required before filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy) to work with a debt counselor.

But if you’re not sure whether you’re ready to talk to someone about your credit or debt concerns, you can take steps to try to improve your financial situation on your own. You may be able to consolidate your debt or negotiate your credit interest rates. Or you may simply need a nudge to choose a debt payoff method — snowball versus avalanche, anyone? — and stick to the plan while you make steady progress.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Idea Where to Start


Over 41% of American households carry some kind of credit card debt, according to a recent study from ValuePenguin.

And the average balance for those households is $ 9,333.

With balances that high, and credit card interest rates north of 15%, it’s not uncommon for families to pay hundreds of dollars every month in interest alone.

And sometimes, there’s just not enough room in the budget for debt payments. Creditors know that, and they’ll use scare tactics to manipulate people into paying debts they can’t afford.

There’s a common misconception, for example, that someone can take your house or you can go to jail for not making your payments. Credit card debt is unsecured civil debt, meaning no one can put you in jail or take your house for not paying it.

However, in certain states, a creditor can obtain a judgment against you, resulting in a court summons. Never ignore notices or orders from the court, and make sure your address is always up to date so you recieve them.

But if you’re in a place where you want to pay off your credit card debt and you just need a little help, you have options. It’s easy to get scammed in the world of credit and debt, so here’s what you need to know about all the legitimate ways to get help paying off credit card debt.  

How to Pay off Credit Card Debt During Hard Times

A woman sitting at her table contemplating expenses
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

Making payments isn’t the only way to pay off a credit card. There are other ways, and they can save you time, money and hassle throughout the process.

Credit Card Debt Loan

One way to pay off credit card debt is to take out one new loan to pay off all your old debt. It’s called a debt consolidation loan. It won’t reduce your debt burden, but it can lower your interest rate and monthly payment.

Debt consolidation is the go-to method for people who’ve fallen on temporary hard times or who’ve done the work to improve their finances and want to take care of their debt problem quickly.

Debt Management Program

Through a debt management program, a company will handle your consolidation and hopefully get you better interest rates and lower fees. You’ll be assigned a credit counselor, who’ll set up a repayment and education plan for you. It’s specifically for unsecured debt, like credit cards and medical bills.

A debt management program pays your creditor for you, ensuring you stay current on your debt payments. Your credit score may even improve during the program. But if you miss a payment, you can be dropped and lose all the benefits you gained.

The program typically lasts three to five years. So if you want to pay off your debt faster, you’ll want to read on.

Balance Transfer Credit Card

If you have good to excellent credit (690 or above) and can feasibly pay off your debt within a year, a balance transfer credit card is a great idea. Balance transfer cards exist to save people money on their debt by transferring the balance of a higher interest rate card to one with zero percent interest.

Most of these cards offer zero percent interest for 12 to 18 months with no annual fee. They generally have a 2-5% balance transfer fee, but you can easily find balance transfer cards with no fee. A higher credit score will help you qualify for a card with better terms.

Personal Loan

You can also consolidate with a personal loan. Online banks will allow you to apply for debt consolidation loans without doing a hard inquiry of your credit, so if you want to shop around, head there first. Then try your local credit union; they’re known for having the most affordable rates on loans.

It’s also important to note that lenders may tack on origination fees and prepayment penalties, or require collateral. Read the fine print before you commit to anything.

Home Equity Loan

If you own a home with equity, you can take out a home equity loan or line of credit, or do a cash-out refinance. For most people, these options will offer the lowest interest rates. But they’re also the riskiest, because your home is the collateral.

It’s important to know that your debt consolidation loan may not cover the entirety of your debt. In those cases, you’ll want to prioritize paying off the remaining debts based on the terms of your new loan.

If your terms and debts are flexible, there are a few methods you can use to make paying off your debt more attainable. If you want to pay off the highest-interest debts first, that’s known as the debt avalanche method. (It’s best if you’ve gone the balance transfer card route.)

If you want to prioritize your smallest debt amount and work up to the largest, that’s called the debt snowball method.

You can’t go wrong with either.

Settling Your Credit Card Debt

If you’re in more than just a season of financial instability, and you can’t see yourself affording the amount of credit card debt you owe, debt settlement is an option. Debt settlement reduces the amount of debt you owe, but it will significantly lower your credit score and negatively impact your credit report.

The process isn’t as simple as debt consolidation, either. You have to convince every creditor that if they don’t settle with you, they probably won’t get anything at all. So of course, during that time you won’t be making any payments — while interest and late fees accrue.

If you aren’t successful in negotiating, you’ll still be responsible for the full amount, plus any extra you incurred. If you are successful, you’ll have to pay the settlement amount in full. Then in April, you’ll owe taxes on the amount forgiven.

Other Ways to Get Help With Credit Card Debt

Cutting up credit cards
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

If you’re having trouble negotiating your debt, or can’t make the payments you planned, don’t be afraid to ask for help. These options aren’t the most ideal, but dealing with the problem head-on is better than letting it accumulate any longer.

Debt Settlement Company

People with many creditors — and those who can’t save to pay lump sums of their settlements — can pay a debt settlement company to do it. Like a debt management program, a debt settlement firm will negotiate debts on your behalf, and the company will pay them while you make monthly payments to the company.

The difference is that the settlement company is making monthly payments on your behalf. While you’re paying the debt settlement company, you’ll still be delinquent on all your other debts — and bombarded with calls from creditors trying to collect.

And that doesn’t guarantee the company will be successful. But if it is, you’ll pay the settlement company up to 25% in fees on top of the settlement.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is another last resort. The two major types for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 allows the filer to completely discharge all their debts in four to six months, by liquidating their assets. A trustee gathers and sells all of your nonexempt assets to pay off your debt. Those assets can include property that’s not your primary residence, a vehicle with equity, investments or valuable collections.

Those who earn a high income or have significant assets choose Chapter 13, which allows them to keep certain assets while still repaying certain debts. It’s a long, arduous process that doesn’t guarantee to resolve your debt. It can be reversed if your income increases, and it wrecks your credit.

Neither option is better than the other; both have negative long-term ramifications.

If you’re serious about getting out of credit card debt, your best plan of attack is to first, stop using them and second, find ways to make extra money and pay it off as fast as possible.

This credit card debt calculator is a great tool to estimate how much extra you need to pay off your debt and how much you can save by paying it off quicker.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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S&P cuts Turkey credit rating deeper into junk territory

Standard & Poor's lowered its rating on Turkey's sovereign debt, which were already rated as junk. 
Economy

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Nicki Minaj accuses ex Safaree Samuels of stealing her credit card as he claims she cut him with a knife

It’s been four years since Nicki Minaj and Safaree Samuels split, but the exes’ beef still stands.

The two exchanged a spat of insults over Twitter Tuesday, sparking a relentless he-said, she-said that included stabbings, hair transplants and stolen credit cards.

Minaj, 35, kicked off the drama…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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ICYMI: Slip-On Sneakers, Dermstore’s Anniversary Sale & More Things to Unfreeze Your Credit Card for

Sure, we’re all glued to our phones/tablets/laptops/watches that barely tell time, but even the best of us miss out on some important #content from time to time. That’s why, in case you missed it, we’ve rounded up our most popular stories of the week to help you stay in the loop. No need to thank …

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New Zealand July Retail Credit Card Spending Rises 0.7%

The value of retail credit card spending in New Zealand gained a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on month in July, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday.
RTT – Economic News

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Trump’s right: The economy is doing well and he deserves some credit

President Donald Trump thinks he’s overdue some credit for steering the strongest economy on the planet — and he’s probably right.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Tesla Delays Worry Buyers Wanting Tax Credit

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Demi Moore’s credit card allegedly swiped by man who spent $169G

Demi Moore was targeted in a credit-card scam in which a man spent $ 169,000 using her information, federal prosecutors charged.

A man named David Matthew Read allegedly found a way to request a new card for Moore by claiming in March that her’s had gone missing, TMZ reported, citing a complaint…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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4 Essential Tips On How to Improve Credit Scores In 2018

If you have a credit score that you are not proud of then you are not alone. According to Experian, approximately 1/3 of Americans have a “not so good” credit score. In fact we take our credit and credit cards so seriously, one report says more than 7 million Americans have hidden a bank or credit card account from their spouse or partner. This breaks down to approximately 4.4 million men and 2.8 million women. And if you fall in that number of Americans with poor or fair credit, don’t be alarmed. Here are four tips that are not outdated, on how to improve your credit score.

1. Check your credit annually

First, it is important to see what is actually on your credit report. Keep in mind, you don’t have to pay for a copy of your credit report but you can obtain a free copy of all three reports at annualcreditreport.com. However, in order to receive your credit score, you may have to pay a nominal fee. Taking time to review your reports is essential. Determine if there are any inaccuracies and if so dispute! This way, negative reporting items could possibly be removed, thus maximizing your overall credit score.

2. Add the positives to your credit score

If you review your credit report and find that an account in good standing has not been reported, take action! In some cases, there may be instances where an account that can actually help boost your credit score was omitted from your report. Consider contacting the creditor and request the information is added. Doing so can also help improve your overall credit score.

3. Use a credit calculator

If you are thinking of making changes to your credit situation, consider using an online calculator first. Credit Karma has a cool calculator to answer “what if” scenarios, such as:

What if I pay off a credit card?
What happens if I increase my line of credit?
What changes will be made to my score if I charge on my credit card?
How many points will my score decrease if I miss a payment?

4. Pay down balances

It also essential to have an understanding of what comprises your credit score. Amounts owed and payment history comprise 65% of your credit score! So with that being said, it is not only important to make certain you make timely payments but it is also essential to be mindful of your credit utilization.

So what does that mean? If you have a credit line of $ 1,000 and used $ 600 of your available credit, your credit utilization is 60%! Not a good idea. Using 30% or less of your credit lines can help improve your credit score.

Lastly, remember, you can boost your credit score yourself. You don’t have to pay tons of money to get your credit together! Don’t be discouraged, keep pressing and keep pushing and one day you will have a score that works best for you!

 

The post 4 Essential Tips On How to Improve Credit Scores In 2018 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Restaurant Owners, Community Leaders Push Back On Sarah Jessica Parker’s War On Tip Credit

Activists, community leaders, and restaurant owners on Thursday gathered at the front of SJP Collections in New York as a voice of opposition against Sarah Jessica Parker’s support for ending the tipped wage credit, which they say threatens employees and restaurant owners.

In New York State, tipped workers are paid a lower minimum wage, but they must earn at least the full minimum wage when tips are included. The difference between the tipped wage and the full minimum wage is called the tip credit, which Minister Kirsten John Foy said allows restaurant owners to keep labor costs down while keeping it affordable for people to dine out.

Early in March, Parker, along with 15 other actresses invoking the #MeTooMovement, wrote a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in support of the One Fair Wage effort, noting that 70% of restaurant servers are women and that research has shown “how relying on tips creates a more permissive work environment where customers feel entitled to abuse women in exchange for ‘service.’” The actresses, including Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Lily Tomlin, Amy Poehler, Reese Witherspoon, Brie Larson, Debra Messing, Ashley Judd, and Sarah Silverman, urged the governor to do away with the state’s tip credit for restaurant workers.

A countereffort of 500 restaurant workers organized by Maggie Raczynski, a bartender at the Clifton Outback Steakhouse, produced a letter of their own.

“You’ve been misled that we earn less than minimum wage and that we’re somehow helpless victims of sexual harassment. “Thank you for your concern. But we don’t need your help and we’re not asking to be saved,” they wrote.

In April, the New York Post reported that a small-screen actor wavered on her decision to sign the letter to the governor. In her email sent to the Restaurant Workers of America—which opposes any compensation changes—the actress, who is unidentified, apologized, through an agent representing her. “She sends her deepest apologies and never intended to insult the restaurant professionals. She would like to rescind her signature from the letter that was sent to Governor Cuomo. Should we do that through you or where it originated from?” But she later decided to keep her name on the letter.

“Sarah Jessica Parker has weighed into a debate where she’s not fully informed. She has weighed into a debate where there is a whole swath and section of the industry, mostly people of color who are not being heard,” Foy said at a press conference in New York on Thursday.

tip credit

Minister Kirsten John Foy during a press conference on Thursday, June 14, 2018, in front of Sarah Jessica Parker’s pop store on W 52nd street. (Image: File)

According to the United States Department of Labor:

“Tip credit permits an employer to take a tip credit towards its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required cash wage (which must be at least $ 2.13) and the federal minimum wage. Thus, the maximum tip credit that an employer can currently claim under the FLSA section 3(m) is $ 5.12 per hour (the minimum wage of $ 7.25 minus the minimum required cash wage of $ 2.13). Under certain circumstances, an employer may be able to claim an additional overtime tip credit against its overtime obligations.”

After seven different hearings and a recommendation by a wage board in 2015, Cuomo and the state’s labor commissioner, Roberta Reardon, will decide whether to eliminate the tip credit, which Cisse Elhadji, the executive chef and co-owner of Renaisance and two Ponty Bistro locations in Harlem, could potentially shut down his business.

“Minimum right now, I have 30 to 40 people working for me, imagine I shut down my place, all these people will (have to) go look for another job,” Elhadji said. “We need help, but this is not going to help us.”

Supporters of the argument for a consistent minimum wage plan say it would reduce wage theft by employers in industries with tipped workers, who are often women, minorities, and immigrants. While Foy agrees with his progressive counterparts that it is indeed time to raise wages for American fast food workers, “but to compare McDonald’s to Melba’s is a folly.”

“It is not appropriate and [it’s] unwise; neither is it economically viable to raise wages at the expense of the existence of the business,” he said.

Late in May, Parker hosted a fundraiser for the One Fair Wage campaign, an organization fighting for increased minimum wage nationally. The purchased tickets went for as much as $ 50,000 according to the release by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the event had to move venues when the location was publicly revealed, to avoid protesters.

Thousands of servers have attended the tip credit elimination hearings, submitted testimonies. Two more hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, June 19 at Hostos Community College and Wednesday, June 27 at Hunter College.

The post Restaurant Owners, Community Leaders Push Back On Sarah Jessica Parker’s War On Tip Credit appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Chase is eliminating these big credit card benefits as of August 26

Credit card companies are taking a hatchet to their benefits for customers — and there’s no end in sight, with the latest announcement from one of the nation’s biggest issuers.

RELATED: Discover is eliminating these 5 credit card benefits in 2018

Chase gets ready to eliminate Price Protection and Return Protection

Effective August 26, Chase will no longer offer Price Protection or Return Protection to its customers. Some customers were informed of the change over the weekend.

Price Protection is a beloved benefit that’s available across several card networks. In general, it promises to refund the difference in price between an item you buy and an advertised sale price that may pop up on that same item anytime between 60 and 90 days down the road.

Chase’s competitor Citi announced just days ago that they’d be paring down their proprietary price protection program called Citi Price Rewind.

But Chase is going one step further than Citi did and axing its version of price protection completely.

Also being shut down at Chase is Return Protection, which makes it up to customers if they buy something they’re unhappy with and the merchant refuses to take it back and refund their money. Chase currently offers up to $ 250 for each eligible item with a $ 1,000 annual maximum as part of its current return protection policy — but all you’ll get is a big, fat goose egg come August 26!

Yet as Chase taketh away, the card issuer also giveth. Cardholders of select products such as the Chase Freedom Visa Platinum will have Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance added to their card on August 26.

Beginning on that date, the added coverage will provide reimbursement of up to $ 1,500 per person and $ 6,000 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares. To meet the criteria to get the money, your trip must be canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations.

Money expert Clark Howard has long recommended trip insurance for cruises and for when you’re going to be touring or traveling on a trip that requires prepayment of thousands of dollars.

So on the plus side, Chase’s addition of cancellation/interruption insurance for some customers could negate the need for them to buy third-party trip insurance. Just be sure you read through Chase’s policy carefully to see what it covers and what it excludes before deciding to forego traditional trip insurance you might buy elsewhere.

More credit card stories on Clark.com:

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Credit card rewards may stop existing soon

The days of credit card users getting just about anything and everything in rewards are over, as issuers gird for choppy earnings. “There’s no question that banks are concerned about the credit card rewards arms race eating into their profits,” said Matt Schulz, an analyst with CreditCards.com. “Credit card issuers are grappling with an uneasy…
Business | New York Post

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The Scoop on All The Hidden Cameos and Cut Credit Scenes in ‘Deadpool 2’ – Spoilers!

The Scoop on All The Hidden Cameos and Cut Credit Scenes in ‘Deadpool 2’ - Spoilers!

 

WARNING: The following interview contains all spoilers for Deadpool 2. Seriously, there is nothing in this interview that isn't a massive spoiler. Read at your own risk. You've been warned!

 

They are the mad geniuses behind both Deadpool and Deadpool 2, and while many will hail co-writers and producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick as the real heroes of Deadpool, they'd like you to consider them the villains instead. Well, at least that's how they…

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Most Credit Card Companies Will Get Rid Of Your Fees If You Simply Ask

It’s easy to get rid of credit card fees. All you have to do is simply ask, according to a new CreditCards.com report. The terms of one’s credit card, which most people do not read, may be in black and white, but the newly released survey found that those terms aren’t set in stone. Looking to reverse a late fee, increase your credit limit, reduce your interest rate or even skip paying an annual fee, the survey found that when one asks, the credit card company is highly likely to say yes.

The report found that 84% of major credit card holders who asked for a late fee waiver were successful the most recent time they requested and 56% who asked for a lower interest rate got one. Seventy percent of participants in the survey were able to get an annual fee lowered or eliminated.

“The competition for credit card customers among banks has been increasing, and that puts customers in a stronger negotiating position,” says Alex Johnson, director of solution marketing at FICO. “The lesson is, it never hurts to ask. The worst thing that can happen is they say ‘no.’”

So Why Aren’t More People Asking:

Simply put, lack of knowledge, the survey found. For one, many just don’t know that it’s an option. The survey of 1,589 adults in the U.S. found that 60% of cardholders have requested at least one of the listed perks. Only 43% of credit card holders have asked for a higher credit limit.

The most popular request was for an increase in credit limit; the request for an annual fee waiver, the rarest request, was requested by just 18% of the participants.

Millennials Are More Likely To Be Affected:

Compared to other generations in the survey, millennials and Gen Xers had the highest percentages saying they weren’t aware that they could ask for each type of request.

About 1 in 3 millennials who didn’t ask for an interest rate reduction said they didn’t know that they could make such requests, while 1 in 5 said the same thing about a credit limit increase.

The survey found that millennials and Gen Xers are especially likely to be in the dark. Compared to other generations, they had the highest percentages saying they didn’t know they could ask for each type of request. While baby boomers and members of the silent generation in the survey said they didn’t ask because they were happy with the terms of their cards.

Poll findings:

The poll surveyed 1,589 adults in the United States who currently are credit card holders. They were asked if they ever attempted to reach out to their card issuer to either waive or reduce a card’s annual fee, reverse a late payment fee, lower a credit card’s interest rate or raise a card’s credit limit. The number of cardholders who make such requests is small, even though the survey shows that when you ask, you have a good chance of getting what you want.

The survey found that:

85% who asked received a higher credit limit.
84% who asked got a late fee waived.
70% who asked had an annual fee waived or lowered.
56% who asked got a lower interest rate (APR).

The post Most Credit Card Companies Will Get Rid Of Your Fees If You Simply Ask appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Four Tips to Increase Your Credit Score From a Credit Expert

Credit is nothing to play with. It can work in your favor or completely work against you. Black Enterprise caught up with founder Christia’n Annice of eMillions+, a credit repair agency, who gave us four tips on how to increase your credit score.

(Image: Credit Karma)

(Image: Credit Karma)

 

1. Pay your bills on time.

Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a credit score. According to FICO data, a 30-day delinquency could cause as much as a 90- to 110-point drop on a FICO Score of 780 for a consumer who has never missed a payment on any credit account.

In comparison, as stated on Equifax, a consumer with a 680 FICO Score and two late payments (a 90-day delinquency on a credit card account from two years ago and a 30-day delinquency on an auto loan from a year ago) would experience a 60- to 80-point drop after being hit with another 30-day delinquency.

2. Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit.”

When your balance is low so is your utilization percentage which is extremely important to your score. To boost your score, pay down a credit card with a high balance relative to its credit limit. Also, try and increase your credit limits. You can do this by calling credit card companies to negotiate.

3. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.

Applying for new credit accounts for about 10% of your FICO score, so the impact is relatively small but still important to consider.

Open new accounts is a different scenario. If you only have had credit for a short time, don’t open a lot of new accounts too rapidly. As stated on MyFico, new accounts will lower your average account age, which will have a larger effect on your FICO® Scores if you don’t have a lot of other credit information.

4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around.

It is extremely important to pay off your debt. A lot of people use moving it to different cards as a strategy but, the only sure fire way to make sure that it is affecting your score in a positive way is to pay it off.

For more information on getting your credit in shape, click here.

The post Four Tips to Increase Your Credit Score From a Credit Expert appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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What is a ‘good’ credit card?

Asking the question, “What is a good credit card?” is kind of like asking “What is a good car?” as the answer will always depend on who you are and what you are using it for. A good car for a large family might be a minivan, while a compact might be the right car for solo commuter.

So let’s look at a few of the different types of credit card users and get a sense for what a “good” credit card would be for each.

People who are new to credit cards

Students, young adults, recent immigrants and anyone else who is new to credit cards will have different needs than others who have been using them for many years. First, you’ll want a simple card with low rates and fees, as your goal will be to learn how to use a credit card responsibly while incurring as few costs as possible.

You might start with the place where you already hold a checking or savings account. Nearly every bank and credit union offers credit cards, and most will have a simple card with no annual fee and no rewards. And when you need to make a payment, it’s simply a matter of transferring funds between accounts. You don’t have to create a new login or learn how to manage your account on a new website.

RELATED: What you need to know about credit card debt

Credit cards for getting out of debt

If you have credit card debt, a good credit card will be one that helps you to pay it off as soon as possible. Many cards offer 0% APR promotional financing for balance transfers. When you transfer your existing balances to one of these new cards, you can avoid interest charges during the promotional financing period. In fact, you can even pay off your debt more quickly, as 100% of your payments will go towards the principal, not interest charges.

A good credit card for this purpose will have an interest-free promotional financing offer that lasts at least 12 months, while the best will extend to 15 or even 18 months. You also need to look at the balance transfer fee, which is usually 3% of the amount transferred. However, some cards have fees of as much as 5%, and there are a few rare cards with no balance transfer fees at all.

Cards for rebuilding credit

If you’ve experienced job loss, divorce or major medical bills, you might have come away from it with bad credit. And if you’ve gone through bankruptcy, foreclosure or just a long string of unpaid loans, then you definitely need to rebuild your credit. A good credit card can be a tool to rebuild your credit, but only if you manage it responsibly by always paying your bills on-time and carrying little, if any, debt.

First and foremost, a good credit card to rebuild your credit will allow you to open an account, even with your bad credit. There are two types of credit cards available if you have bad credit: subprime cards and secured cards. A subprime card may be from a bank with an obscure name, or perhaps one that’s meant to sound kind of like a major bank that you’ve heard of. It will have very high interest rates and numerous fees, while offering you few benefits and a very small line of credit.

I would avoid these cards and focus on a secured card instead.

Secured cards work just like any other credit card, but they require you to pay a refundable security deposit before opening your account. The size of your deposit becomes your credit limit, and the security deposit is only used if you default. Like any other credit card, you’ll receive a monthly statement and must make the minimum payment. After a year of on-time payments, most secured card holders find that they can qualify for a standard, unsecured card and will have their deposit refunded. The best secured cards will be offered by a reputable bank that can eventually offer you an unsecured card. And, best of all, many of these top secured cards have no annual fee.

Earning rewards

When you always avoid interest charges by paying your statement balances in full, then you should be earning as many rewards and benefits as possible. The best card for you will depend on how you use your cards and its rewards. Frequent travelers will want a card that offers them airline miles, hotel points or other rewards that they can use for free trips. At the same time, a good travel card will also feature perks like free checked bags, hotel room upgrades and travel insurance policies.

Others might find the most value in a cash-back credit card that offers rewards that can be used to pay for anything. Some cash back cards will offer a high level of cash back on all purchases, like 1.5% or even 2%. Others can offer bonuses of as much as 5% on some purchases, but only 1% elsewhere. And when it comes to reward credit cards, the one with the lowest annual fee might not be the best. If you can receive hundreds of dollars of rewards and benefits, it may be worth paying an annual fee.

RELATED: New Barclays Arrival Premier card: Worth a look if you love to travel

One last thing

For millions of Americans, there’s no good credit card for their needs. If you’re unable to pay your bills on time, or you use your credit card to incur debt, then you should be using another form of payment like cash or a debit card (though you should be wary of when and where you use a debit card). Also, if you find yourself spending more money on a credit card then you would have spent with cash, then it’s also the wrong method of payment for you.

All credit card users should strive to pay their balance in full, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you can’t do this, and using another form of payment instead. By considering how you will use your credit cards, you can ultimately decide the right card for your needs.

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Gas Prices Will Go Up This Summer And Gas Credit Cards Won’t Help You Save

American households already spend between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 yearly on gas. Come this summer, however, those numbers are expected to increase by another 14%. While you and your family might be counting on gas credit cards to offer some savings, a new survey has found that these credit cards offer much less than promised when compared to general use credit cards.

The new CreditCards.com analysis of 28 widely available gas station cards such as Chevron, Texaco and BP, found that the average gas-station-branded credit card charges an interest rate of 23.61%, which is nearly seven percentage points higher than the national average for all credit cards. These credit cards often offer rewards that can’t match up to a typical general-purpose credit card, Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com senior industry analyst, told Black Enterprise.

Of the 28 gas cards analyzed, 24 of them offer per-gallon discounts at an average of just 5 cents per gallon. According to the American Automobile Association, the national average for a gallon of regular gas is currently $ 2.66, making the return on the deal just shy of 2%. In states like California, where the average price is slightly higher at $ 3.52, a 5-cent discount gets you less than 1.5%.

Twelve of the 28 gas cards analyzed come with a 25-cents-per-gallon introductory offer. The catch is that the discount is only available for a very limited time, usually two to three months.

If you’re planning a big road trip, this is one instance when it might make sense to sign up for a gas rewards credit card,” said Schulz. “But even then, there are restrictions to be aware of–several of the most generous introductory offers are capped around $ 100 of fuel credits. You’re probably still better off with a general cash-back card.”

For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards card, the survey found, gives new cardholders 50,000 miles ($ 500 in travel) after they spend $ 3,000 within three months of opening the account. Cardholders receive 2 miles for every dollar they spend (essentially a 2% return) and there is no annual fee for the first year. Citi Double Cash is another popular general-purpose card that offers 2% cash back on all purchases, although it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, the survey found. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card gives 2% back on gas with a $ 200 sign-up bonus.

General-purpose cards are also much more likely to offer lucrative sign-up bonuses, Schulz said they found. He said there are many different general-purpose credit cards that offer 2% rebates in the form of cash-back and travel rewards. These typically charge much lower interest rates and provide cardholders with far greater flexibility, he said.

“Most folks would benefit from a general purpose card more so than the typical gas station card and the rewards over the long run will end up being lucrative,” Schulz said.

Here’s what else the survey found about gas cards:

  • You don’t want to carry a balance. The average APR for the cards that were surveyed is 23.61%, well above the national average for general purpose cards (16.62%, per the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report). Nine of the cards in our survey had APRs of 28.24%.
  • Most are only good at one kind of gas station. Only 11 cards were co-branded with payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard, meaning they can be used almost anywhere. Gas cards that are not co-branded can only be used at their respective stations.
  • Some cash back cards don’t measure up to them. General purpose cards that offer 1.5% cash back on all spending save you slightly less than 5-cents-per-gallon gas cards at the current average gas price. But drivers who live in expensive-gas states such as California ($ 3.52 per gallon) can save more with 1.5% cash back cards.
  • Many of them have introductory offers. Twelve of the cards in the survey advertised introductory offers, typically featuring increased per-gallon discounts and rebates.

The post Gas Prices Will Go Up This Summer And Gas Credit Cards Won’t Help You Save appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Here’s Why You Should Never Lend Out Your Credit Card

Lending a friend or family member your credit card is a really bad idea, according to a new national CreditCards.com study.

Of the 49% of credit card holders—past and present—35% of them said they’ve had negative experiences. The most common problem people run into when they allow others to use their credit card: overspending.

Last month, a Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. study revealed that an overwhelming majority (80%) of African Americans are more likely to financially help out a family member than 66% of whites. Could African Americans, in the name of helping out a family member, be putting themselves in financial jeopardy?

“You really are playing with fire when you let someone else use your credit card, so proceed with caution,” CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz said. “Whether they spend more than you anticipated, don’t pay you back, or you never see the card again, ultimately, you are the one who is responsible.”

The study also found that younger people (ages 18–37) faced an unfavorable result compared to 31% of Gen X (ages 38–53) and 26% of Baby Boomers (ages 54–72). Others complained about not getting refunded. Ten percent even said their card was either never returned or lost.

The study concluded that most people who have owned a credit card would let immediate family members borrow it and half of them said they are comfortable with a family member spending at least $ 100. Thirty-nine percent say they would never lend their card to an immediate family member.

What the study found was that the less you make, the more likely you are to be burned. More than half (52%) of low-income earners who have lent their credit cards to someone have had negative experiences. The number drops down to a quarter for those making more than $ 30,000.

The post Here’s Why You Should Never Lend Out Your Credit Card appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Citibank to Refund $335 Million to Credit Card Holders It Overcharged

Citi Group Inc., one of the world’s largest credit card issuer,s announced Friday that it will refund $ 335 million back to some its U.S. customers later this year.

The banking group said it had not used the proper method for reducing interest charges for 1.75 million credit cards holders who have had to pay the penalty rates since 2011. The refund will average about $ 190 per account.

“This refund won’t have much of an impact on Citi, but for millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, $ 190 matters,” Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst said. “It may not change their lives, but they will certainly welcome it, especially since they shouldn’t have had to part with it in the first place.”

Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, commonly called the CARD Act, is a federal law that changed banks and credit card issuers’ practices and advocated for consumers’ rights. And since 2011, banks have been required to reduce penalty interest rates for cardholders who resume making timely payments.

Citi said it made an error calculating the reductions.

“This provision of the CARD Act is a very important one,” Schulz said. “Before the CARD Act, someone who was hit with a penalty rate could be stuck with that super-high rate indefinitely.”

The error is up to 10% of the interest reductions that cardholders were supposed to get, the bank said. The other 90% of rate savings were properly credited to accounts.

“That shouldn’t happen anymore,” Schulz added. “That’s great news for people who hit a rough patch financially and then get their feet back under them shortly thereafter.”

In 2015, Citibank was ordered to pay $ 700 million back to customers and was fined $ 70 million for malpractices related to its marketing credit card add-on products.

The post Citibank to Refund $ 335 Million to Credit Card Holders It Overcharged appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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4 Steps For Black Entrepreneurs to Build Their First Business Credit Report

While every business owner has a personal credit report, not every business has a business credit report. A personal credit report is created the moment an individual with a Social Security number accepts their first job or applies for their first form of financing. However, a business credit report is not automatically created and there are a variety of steps that must be followed in order to establish this very important business financing tool. Here are the preliminary steps you must take to build business credit:

 

  Properly Establish Your Entity

Operating as a sole proprietor would make it very difficult to establish and build a quality business credit profile. So the first thing that you want to do is plan to incorporate your business as either a C-Corp, S-Corp, or Limited Liability Company (LLC).

This will also involve obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), opening a dedicated bank account for the business, setting up the business telephone line, setting up the business website, setting up the business location, and making sure to have a clear separation of personal and business affairs. Other aspects associated with properly establishing your entity include having proper levels of insurance, developing a quality business plan, and making sure your legal advisers are in place.

Register the Entity With the Major Business Credit Bureaus

To make sure your payment history from vendors, suppliers, and creditors that report to business credit bureaus is recorded, you have to make sure to set up a business entity profile with the two major business credit bureaus. This will include both Experian Business and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). With D&B you will receive a D-U-N-S number and a D&B PAYDEX Score; with Experian you will receive an Intelliscore Plus. Both are measured mainly using a scale of 1–100, with a score over 80 considered the best tier. It’s best that once you establish your profile, that you also set up some sort of credit monitoring; that way you can verify each month that everything is being reported properly and efficiently.

Begin Building the Business Credit Profile

This process could be a bit difficult, as not every creditor reports their information to business credit bureaus. So your research here would be to find those creditors that, in fact, would report your on-time payment information, so you could build your report history. Some vendors to look at to begin include the following:

  • Shared Secured Loans and Secured Credit Cards

These can be provided by your local credit union. With both, you will deposit money into a bank account and then with the shared secured loan, you will take out a loan on the money deposited, using the deposit balance as security. As you pay back the loan, that amount of the secured balance becomes “available.” This product is great because it’s reported to the business credit bureaus as a regular loan from the credit union. The same would work with the secured credit cards, where you establish a line of credit using money from your deposit account, with the reporting showing up as a regular credit card on the business credit report from the credit union. A business would find that using one of these products would prove to be much easier to establish a business credit history than using one of the various companies below.

  • Various Companies

These can include companies such as Grainger, Uline, Quill, OnDeck, and a variety of other companies that would report the on-time payments to the bureaus.

Continue Building Your Business Credit Profile

After a solid six to 12 months of using the above beginning basics of building, you could now try to apply to the variety of business credit card companies to add additional trade lines. In addition, seek to reach out to various vendors, suppliers, and consultants for your business as many times they will offer trade credit, which could also be reported on your business credit report for building aspects. Note that as you go forward, you want to make sure to continue making all payments on time and never miss a payment. It’s also best to make payments much earlier than scheduled.

After a solid 12 to 24 months of utilizing the above strategies, your options for business lines of credit, leasing, term loans, asset-based lending, lower APR business credit cards, more attractive trade credit structuring, etc., open up as your business maintains its well-structured business credit report.

The post 4 Steps For Black Entrepreneurs to Build Their First Business Credit Report appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Overview of the Personal Credit Report [for 2017]

According to Vantage Score, the vast majority of Americans don’t understand many of the nuances of a personal credit report. Your personal credit report is being updated for you by the three major personal credit reporting agencies of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, any time one of the following occurs:

  • A job is added or terminated
  • A residence is added or terminated
  • An installment loan is opened, paid, or removed
  • A revolving credit line is opened, paid, or removed
  • Average credit age changes
  • Average credit utilization
  • Credit payment history changes
  • A credit inquiry is added or removed
  • Public records are added, paid, or removed

(Image: iStock/AndreyPopov)

 

 

Your Personal Credit Score Is Weighted on the Following:

 
  • Your payment history along with the presence of any public records: 35%
  • The outstanding amounts you owe, along with current credit utilization: 30%
  • The length of time you’ve had the loans/credit lines: 15%
  • The moment a new loan or credit line is opened: 10%
  • Your current mix of loans and credit lines: 10%
 

Types of Personal Credit Scores/Measurements

 

In terms of the types of Personal Credit Scores, you have the standard reporting system from Fair Isaac Corporation (known as FICO) with about 50 different types of scores. Then, you have the Vantage Score, which is provided for educational purposes to consumers from many credit card issuers along with platforms such as Credit Karma. You can obtain a free, full copy of your personal credit report and three bureau scores, once per year, from www.annualcreditreport.com. In terms of quality measurement, scores range from 300 to 850 and:

  • A score under 579 is considered Poor
  • A score between 580 and 669 is considered Fair
  • A score between 670 and 739 is considered Good
  • A score between 740 and 799 is considered Very Good
  • A score between 800 and 850 is considered Excellent
 

Public Records

 

Having public records such as a foreclosure, tax lien, judgment, or bankruptcy on your report will bring down your score. These items generally remain on your report for the following duration:

  • Foreclosures: 7 years
  • Tax Liens: 7 to 15 years depending upon when paid
  • Judgments: 7 years
  • Ch. 13 Bankruptcies: 7 years
  • Ch. 7 Bankruptcies: 10 years

However, new reporting standards were released in Summer 2017 for both tax liens and civil judgments. Going forward, for either a tax lien or civil judgment to be reported on a personal credit report, the reporting must include your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. In addition, there are now required courthouse visits to be completed, in order to obtain newly filed and updated records at least every 90 days. These new reporting standards would remove virtually all civil judgments that have occurred up until this point, along with certain tax liens as well.

 

Credit Repair and Maintaining Good Credit

 

The FTC warns that consumers should avoid many credit repair companies, as they usually charge exorbitant prices with deceitful promises of fixing your credit seemingly overnight. The truth is, the only way to “fix your credit” is the following (all of which you can do yourself):

  • Work To Remove Negative Information: All late payments and other negative information needs to be paid as soon as you can. You might be able to contact the creditor to negotiate a lower lump sum payment amount. Also, examine your credit report to determine if there’s something that doesn’t belong there, if something is reported incorrectly, etc. If so, file a dispute with the bureaus directly. By law, they must respond within 30 days:
  • Work To Establish Positive Information: You need to establish “positive payment history,” which means you need to add new installment loans and revolving credit lines, pay them off on time going forward, and make sure to never miss a payment.
  • Personal Credit Maintenance: Continue to maintain positive payment history by adding additional revolving credit lines and installment loans until you have a good “mix” (I recommend, at least 10 listings) that are reporting positive payment history. Make sure to continue making all payments on time and never miss a payment. Also, make sure to continue monitoring your credit report using sources such as Credit Karma, to make sure nothing is placed there that shouldn’t be.

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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Credit Cards For Beginners

Credit card companies entice you with zero interest rates for the first year or six months of spending. But it’s exactly those zero interest rates that entice you to spend money you don’t have because you feel like there won’t be consequences. Keep in mind that if the first year’s interest rate is zero, it’s typically because, when interest rates do kick in, they’ll be high. So having $ 3,000 of unpaid credit card bills when, let’s say, an eight percent interest rate kicks in means you pay $ 240 in interest fees.
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Morehouse Student’s Extra Credit Biology Rap Goes Viral

The Morehouse College football player whose extra credit rap video for his biology class went viral says the whole idea started on a whim as he was sitting in bed one night after a game.

Julien Turner, a linebacker for the Maroon Tigers, said he was listening to a Lil Uzi song when he got an idea.

“[I] was listening to ‘XO Tour Llif3’ and I remembered [the professor] had assigned an extra credit assignment where I could make a music video out of anything, and ‘all my cells are dead’ just kept repeating in my head,” Turner, 19, a marketing major, said on “Good Morning America” today. “I scrambled to check my notes to make sure it had something to do with biology and I started writing lyrics that were parallel to the song so I could remember it better. I called up a few teammates and we made the video, and it just blew up from there.”

Turner soon found himself spitting such revised lyrics as: “The DNA starts to unwind. The RNA reads the other side. Meiosis is the key to making life. Mitosis copies cells about to die. If my genes go left unread, all my cells are dead.”

Watch below:

Turner’s professor, Dr. Dwann Davenport, said he succeeded in earning the extra credit with his video.

“I actually heard about it before I even checked my email to see that he’d turned it in,” Davenport said. “I see the text message with the link and I clicked on it and I was like, ‘Oh this is catchy. This is nice.’ I saw all the likes and all the retweets and I was like, ‘Wait, this is my student. Wait a minute, this is Julien. Oh my goodness.’ I was so excited, but I didn’t expect anything like this.”

“He’s an athlete, he’s on the football team. He’s amazing,” she added.

Turner said he and his younger brother also started their own production company, Dreadhead Films, several years ago, and that “it’s crazy” this video went viral because “it’s the worst film” he has ever made. He said his brother is usually the cinematographer and editor, but he didn’t work on this one.

Music runs in Turner’s family. His father, Kevin Turner, is a jazz guitarist and music professor at Ohio State.

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Half of Americans think this credit card practice should be illegal

When you’re out shopping through the holiday season and get to the register, keep in mind that sales associates are under enormous pressure to get you to sign up for a store credit card.

They may offer incentives like “20% off your first purchase” or “0% special financing for 12 months.”

RELATED: New tool offers credit card perks without debit card dangers

Warning: Do NOT sign up for these credit cards 

These offers can be very tempting to people who are on a tight budget — especially around the holidays — but they come at a steep cost once the grace period is over.

It’s all because of deferred interest, which money expert Clark Howard refers to as “hideous retroactive interest.”

Here’s an example: 

Bonnie goes to the register and her total comes to $ 1,000. The cashier asks if she’d like to open a store card to receive no interest financing for six months.

She gets approved for instant credit and is grateful for the extra time to pay for the items.

At the end of the six months, Bonnie has paid off all but $ 50 of the balance and plans to send in the last $ 50 the following month.

But to her surprise, she receives a $ 250 interest charge on her very next bill!

Clark: Beware of ‘hideous retroactive interest’ 

How could this happen? With a normal 0% credit card offer, interest only applies to the balance remaining after the special financing period is up.

However, retailers that offer special financing with deferred interest don’t work the same way.

If you miss a monthly payment or don’t repay your full balance within the 0% period, interest is applied retroactively to the original purchase amount.

That’s how Bonnie from our example was charged $ 250 in interest for a $ 50 balance. It’s like the 0% rate never existed!

According to WalletHub’s 2017 Deferred Interest Study, 61% of people think retroactive interest is unfair and 50% believe it should be illegal.

Here’s a look at the retailers that use deferred interest: 

Store cards charge up to 30% interest 

Deferred interest isn’t the only problem with store-only credit cards. They’re known for having regular interest rates much higher than general-purpose cards — some as high as 30%.

The average retail card APR (annual percentage rate) is 24.99%, according to a study from CreditCards.com. 

“Instant credit should be called instant debt,” Clark said. “When people take instant credit here, there and everywhere, they end up in debt not to their eyeballs — but above.”

Clark says you’re better off using the regular credit card that’s already in your wallet or just pay with cash!

Recap of Clark’s take:

  • One-store-only credit cards are inferior to general-purpose cards
  • Always pay your balance in full every month
  • Read the fine print to avoid deferred or retroactive interest

RELATED: Clark’s #1 secret to avoid overspending this holiday season


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Biology student goes viral with extra credit rap video

This Georgia student has a promising career as a YouTube sensation post-graduation. Morehouse College student Julien Turner lit up the internet this week when he posted his extra credit video to Twitter. Turner, who is enrolled in a biology class,  got creative when his teacher challenged students to make a video about mitosis and meiosis….
Tech | New York Post

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Uber’s new no-annual-fee credit card comes with some sweet perks

Uber is ready to throw down with a sweet offer for anyone who wants its first-ever credit card!

RELATED: Clark Howard goes undercover as a Lyft and Uber driver

Here’s what the Uber credit card offers

Beginning Nov. 2, the ride-sharing company will start accepting applications for its new Uber Visa Card.

In a blog post, the company notes that cardholders will be able to earn rewards of a penny on every dollar spent for most purchases, with higher levels of reward points assigned to other purchasing activities:

  • 4% back on dining and bars (including UberEATS)
  • 3% back on hotel and airfare (incluidng vacation home rentals)
  • 2% back on online purchases (including those made with Uber itself)
  • 1% back on everything else

The Uber Visa Card, which will be issued in conjunction with Barclays, has no annual fee — which is a big bonus.

But watch out for that interest rate of 15.99%, 21.74% or 24.74% (depending on your credit) if you carry a balance! (You should never carry a balance from one month to the next!) 

 As an introductory offer, you can also earn $ 100 after spending $ 500 during the first 90 days.

Uber Visa Card

Here’s a rundown of some of the other perks:

No foreign transaction fees

Most credit card issuers charge around 3% if you use their card outside the United States.

Not so with Uber Visa Card, which has zero transaction fees!

Mobile phone insurance

You’ll get up to $ 600 for phone theft or damage when you pay your wireless bill with Uber Visa Card.

And you’re only responsible for a $ 25 out-of-pocket deductible!

Special invites

Uber says cardholders will also get invites to events, secret shows and dining experiences in select U.S. cities.

But this might be the biggest perk of all…

The Uber Visa Card comes with an annual $ 50 subscription credit that can be used for services including Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime membership.

This credit recurs every year once you spend $ 5,000 annually.

Clark Howard’s take

Money expert Clark Howard is always quick to note that cards like this will only work in your life if you’re a net payer, i.e. you pay your bill in full each and every month.

If you tend to carry a balance from month-to-month, any benefit of the Uber Visa Card could get eaten up pretty quickly with interest charges.

In that case, you’re probably better off with a credit card from your local credit union. They tend to have lower interest rates than the cards from the big financial institutions.

RELATED: How to use credit cards to benefit your financial life

Watch Clark go undercover as a Lyft and Uber driver!


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5 Tips for Renting to Someone with Bad Credit

rent-rental-application-residential-lease-bad-creditRenting out an apartment or home can be a difficult task for some landlords. After spending time preparing your unit for renters and then advertising it, you need to find a suitable tenant from a long list of applicants.

Many landlords begin by sifting through the applications, ensuring each potential tenant meets a certain set of criteria. For instance, do they have a good credit score? Do they pay their bills on time? Do they have a good reference from their previous landlord? These questions help a landlord decide if they should invest in an applicant or move on to a new contender.

While the ideal tenant is certainly out there, it may take some time—and many applications—to find that person, which could leave your unit unrented and your property debts unpaid. Essentially, this means it may be worthwhile to sign a lease with an applicant who does not meet all of your expectations as opposed to waiting for an applicant who does.

When renting to a tenant with an imperfect rental or credit history, landlords can minimize the risks they face by discussing any issues with the applicant, having the tenant sign the lease with a guarantor, asking for a higher security deposit, shortening the lease term, or requesting automated or post-dated rent payments.

This post can offer tips to help you protect your real estate when renting to someone with flaws in their application.

1. Discuss Any Rental Application Issues with the Applicant

When deciding if an applicant is worth renting to, the old adage, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, certainly applies. However, responsible people, and more importantly, good tenants, can make financial blunders and bruise their credit. In fact, nearly 70% of Americans admitted to making a substantial financial error resulting in low credit before the age of 30.

Therefore, the first and most important step is to discuss the problem with the applicant: what about this applicant makes them risky? Perhaps their credit score is low, or maybe they have high credit card debt. Finding out what the applicant has to say about the issue is a good way to determine if you should approve their rental application.

Some individuals have understandable reasons for the blemishes in their credit history and may even offer to ease your worries by providing some form of insurance (such as confirmation that a debt has been paid or agreeing to pay more rent per month).

Communicating with the applicant will allow you to understand their point of view while building your landlord-tenant relationship should you choose to sign a lease with them in the future.

2. Have the Tenant Sign the Lease with a Guarantor

Signing with a guarantor is common practice for individuals with no credit history, such as a young adult moving into their first apartment, but is also a good practice for handling an applicant that may not meet your expectations for a tenant.

When it comes to a residential lease, a guarantor, sometimes called a co-signer, is a person who ensures the tenant’s rent will be paid by agreeing to take on the payments if the tenant cannot. In other words, this person must fulfill the tenant’s lease obligations or suffer consequences to their credit record.

This person doesn’t live with the tenant. They are a surety, providing the landlord with an additional opportunity to collect rental payments. Like a tenant, screen this person to be sure they are financially stable and reliable.

3. Increase the Tenant’s Security Deposit

Asking for a higher security deposit is tricky, especially because it is illegal in some states to ask for a security deposit that is higher than one month’s rent. So, before requesting a higher deposit, it’s best to review your state’s mandated limits.

That said, raising a security deposit to the legal limit is a good way to minimize the risk of renting to someone with a subpar background.

For example, if your advertised security deposit is $ 700 but rent is $ 1,200, increase the security deposit by $ 500 to help safeguard your property. This will provide you with more money to cover any losses in case the tenant doesn’t pay their rent or needs to be evicted.

4. Shorten the Term of the Lease

Another option is to shorten the term of the lease you originally had in mind when signing with a tenant you are unsure about. This may mean changing a yearly lease to month-to-month or your 6-month lease to 3-month. This will allow you to end the tenancy early and easily in case you have any difficulties.

5. Ask for Rent Payments by Direct Debit or Postdated Checks

It’s recommended that you choose an applicant with a reliable source of income and a bank account. That way, you can ask for direct debit (also called direct bank withdrawal) or postdated checks to help make sure rent is paid in full and on time every month.

Evaluate the Risks and Decide Which Tenant You Should Rent To

If you have a long list of applicants, choosing the most qualified person is generally your best option. But if the only adequate applicant has an unflattering mark on their rental and credit history, you’ll need to decide if it’s worthwhile to rent to that person or to move on and re-advertise, possibly leaving the unit empty and uncompensated.

A Rental Application will allow you to properly access that risk by reviewing their credit history, rental history, and employment history or source of income, but you can add safeguards by reviewing any issues with the application with the applicant, asking for a guarantor, a higher security deposit, a shorter lease term, and direct or postdated payments.

Once you’ve hashed out terms that are suitable for both you and your selected applicant, creating a proper Residential Rental/Lease Agreement will ease your mind by further securing your income property investment.

The post 5 Tips for Renting to Someone with Bad Credit appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Coming soon: a selfie with your credit card application

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7 Ways to Fix Your Bad Credit

Credit Score

Are you tired of having a low credit score, but have no idea where to turn to help?

If this sounds like you, then read on to find out how to repair your credit on YOUR terms. All it takes is a little elbow grease and know-how.

  1. Obtain free copies of your credit report—once per year—from www.annualcreditreport.comThe scores are not included for free, but just having the reports is a huge step in the right direction.
  2. Keep your credit utilization percentage at a MAXIMUM of 10%. That might sound super low to you, compared to the 30% that was recommended just a few short years ago. But, to get in that super, high-achievers club, 10% is the new standard. This means that if your total credit card limits are $ 10,000, your balance should never exceed $ 1,000.
  3. Consider opening an account with www.selflender.com, if you need to add positive credit to your reports. This account offers you the ability to save money, invest it into a CD,  and build your credit—all at the same time!
  4. DO NOT close any of your credit card accounts, including the ones with zero balances. Thirty-five percent of your credit score is based on the length of your credit history. If you close even one account with a long history, you will likely see an immediate drop in your scores.
  5. Open an account with your local credit union with the goal of building a long-term relationship. Once you join a credit union, you are now a member/part-owner of the credit union.  Credit unions are lower rates on credit cards, auto loans, home loans, and many other products. Also, credit unions typically have multiple options to select from if you need to rebuild credit.
  6. Consult with a trusted credit professional, if you have charged off accounts and/or past due accounts that you are thinking of paying off. You have to keep in mind that paying off a collection account doesn’t automatically remove it. In fact, paying a collection could actually lower your score, as well! You need to be well-versed in your state’s statute of limitations, if you have collections on your credit reports.
  7. DO NOT dispute errors in your reports online, and DO NOT send a barrage of disputes to the respective credit bureaus. Each dispute should be sent separately and explained in detail, to ensure that your dispute doesn’t get marked as “frivolous.”  You want the credit bureaus to thoroughly research your disputed claims, so take the time to make sure you submit thorough documentation.

Please keep in mind that rebuilding credit is a process, and it may take 180 days or more. It is important to remain patient and, most of all, proactive!  

For more information on business building, business launching and real estate income streams, sign up for our next FREE webinar at www.bit.ly/daniellepierce.

 


This article was written by The BOSS Network Influencer, Danielle Pierce.

Danielle is a Speaker, Author, Business Coach and 10 Year Real Estate Wealth Strategist. She specializes in showing mompreneurs how to elevate their lifestyle and create generational wealth through real estate. Register for her next webinar at www.bit.ly/daniellepierce.

Learn more about Danielle Pierce by visiting her website at www.mommyandmerealestate.com

Follow Danielle on Twitter @_DaniellePierce

Money – Black Enterprise

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The $2 Charge That Dropped My Credit Score 169 Points

Credit Score

So, my personal credit score dropped a whopping 169 points the other day. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. After all, I co-founded a company passionately devoted to teaching entrepreneurs how to avoid that kind of headache.

 

Credit Score (Image: iStock/AndreyPopov)

 

How did it happen? I’m glad you asked. A credit card of mine—which I hadn’t used in three years—was charged a $ 2 dollar late fee. Yes, you heard me correctly. $ 2 dollars.

The fee resulted from a missed $ 10 dollar payment for an insurance policy I forgot I purchased. Until then, the payments had been coming automatically from a checking account I forgot to close. The account ran out of funds, I was dinged for a measly two bucks, and my credit score plummeted in consequence.

The good news is that I got things straightened out, but it was a pain in the neck to do so and a complete waste of time. The bad news is that if it can happen to me, someone who has spent nearly 20 years navigating the ins and outs of the credit and financing labyrinth, it can happen to anyone.

 

Takeaways:

 

  • Thank heaven for free credit alerts. The minute my credit score started flatlining, I was informed of it.
  • A banking error led to that $ 2 late fee being reported to the credit bureaus, as the bank in question had an internal policy that they didn’t report late payments under $ 10. All of that headache stemmed from one little mishap. Check your report for mistakes regularly.
  • It sucks to forget stuff. Get your accounts in order. Close ones you don’t use. Small details, overlooked, can bite you big later on, so don’t make financial housekeeping a New Year’s resolution—do it now. Today. Five minutes ago. A massive weight will be lifted from your shoulders.
  • When it comes to late payments, credit scoring models care more about the fact that you were late than the dollar amount. Whether it’s $ 2 or $ 2,000 dollars, the impact on your credit score is negative. Set up auto-pay for all your accounts, if you haven’t already.
  • I should have logged in and checked on the credit card every month, if for no other reason than the possibility of identity theft. I would have saved myself a lot of trouble.

There you have it. The confession of a sheepish CEO. May it serve as a warning to check your credit often and keep an eye on your financials.

 

This article was written by guest author Levi King and originally appeared on Nav.com.

Money – Black Enterprise

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How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Data Breach

How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax BreachMillions of people (unfortunately, not an exaggeration) are wondering what many Corporette® readers are also wondering: how to protect their credit after the Equifax data breach. On September 7, Equifax revealed that hackers may have exposed Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, website security questions/answers, etc., for up to 143 million people — a “breath-taking amount of highly sensitive data [handed] over to criminals,” as Ars Technica put it. (With all the upsetting news stories recently, someone thought we needed even more things to worry about!) We’ve seen some contradictory information online — and the sheer amount of advice out there is overwhelming — so we thought we’d round up some expert advice in one place. Ladies, what steps have you taken to protect your credit after the breach? Have you used any services or had any success in freezing your credit? If you’ve written to government officials about changing the laws, share your script!

Here are the best recommendations for how to protect your credit:

1. Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to check if you’re at risk. Since announcing the site, Equifax has clarified that checking your status and enrolling in TrustedID Premier, its free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, “does not waive any rights to take legal action.” So, after clicking on “Potential Impact,” enter your last name and the last six digits of your SSN. From there, you’ll get information on enrolling in TrustedID Premier, including the date you can register. (You must do so by November 21). You won’t need to enter your credit card number to enroll,  so you don’t have to worry about automatically being charged for the following year’s fee. 

Note: Checking your status may not be as useful as it seems. ZDNet and Krebs on Security, among others, have reported that people have entered fake information and gotten an answer, while others have received different answers on different tries, or on a smartphone vs. a computer. I also felt nervous entering six (not just four) digits of my SSN on Equifax’s site, but my SSN is probably already out there, so there’s that.

That said, in case you’re interested in Equifax’s TrustedID service, here’s what it does:

  • Gives you copies of your Equifax credit report.
  • Allows you to lock lenders’ access to your Equifax credit report. (Be aware that when you want to apply for new credit, it may take 24–48 hours for Equifax to unlock it.)
  • Provides monitoring of your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports.
  • Scans the internet for your Social Security number.
  • Provides identity theft insurance.

(Of course, you might stop to consider whether you feel comfortable trusting Equifax with these responsibilities, considering the massive breach that took place on their watch…)

2. Freeze your credit through the three credit reporting bureaus. A credit freeze doesn’t stop someone from charging anything to your existing accounts, but it does make it more difficult for anyone to use your name to open a new account. Freezing your credit prevents third parties from accessing your credit file (unless it’s a company you already do business with, such as your mortgage lender) unless you remove the freeze, either temporarily or permanently. Yesterday, Equifax announced that for 30 days it will waive its fees to freeze credit files, but only after many people complained that they were charging for it. For information on how you may be charged for a credit freeze (aside from this specific situation), check this updated chart of state credit-freeze laws. It usually costs $ 5–$ 10. (The New York Times also suggested freezing your credit with Innovis.)

3. If you don’t want to freeze your credit (even though identity-theft experts recommend doing so), place a fraud alert on your credit files. Creditors will be notified that you are a potential victim of identity theft and know that they should take care to verify your identity by contacting you directly before they open a loan or establish other credit in your name. A fraud alert lasts 90 days, but you can extend it. Also, don’t wait until April 18, 2018, to file your 2017 taxes — do so as soon as you receive the documents and information you need. That way, you can get ahead of any potential scammers who plan to use your SSN to get a refund, for example. In an article at Bankrate, Robert Siciliano, the CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, said, “Everyone should assume their information has been compromised,” either through this data breach or one that affected another company in the past.

4. Keep an eye on your credit report, bank accounts, and credit card, as well as email and snail mail. Remember, you can access your credit report for free every 12 months from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. You should get your credit reports from this site only (not from one of its imitators), and make sure to type in the URL in your browser rather than click a link from another site or an email. (To be extra careful, that’s a smart thing to do for any sort of financial site.) Some credit cards offer free access to your FICO score (my Citibank Simplicity card does, for example) so check if yours is one of them. Another strategy: I recently set up text alerts with one of my credit cards — every time my card is used to pay for something and I’m not there in person, I get a notification. (Unfortunately, that means that I get a text every time I use my card online, which is irritating, but I suppose it’s worth it.)

5. Do your research before signing up for a non-Equifax credit monitoring or identify monitoring service. (Unlike with TrustedID, you’ll have to pay, of course.) This may be a subject for a separate post, so here’s some info from other sites: The Simple Dollar reviewed what it says are the best three services, IdentityForce, LifeLock, and ID Watchdog, while some in the know have said these services aren’t really worth the money, considering the monitoring you can do on your own for free (see: The Motley Fool, Time, Wired).

Have you been wondering how to protect your credit after the Equifax data breach? Have you checked whether your personal information may have been compromised? Have you decided whether or not to freeze your credit and/or enroll in Equifax’s free service? Have you been a victim of identity theft in the past? What were the consequences, and how did you handle it? 

Further Reading:

  • CNN has fact-checked six common rumors about the security breach.
  • Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Hiltzik wrote a column called, “Here are all the ways the Equifax data breach is worse than you can imagine,” that points out some aspects of the breach you might not know about. (Ignore the outdated portion that says those who enroll in TrustedID won’t be able to sue.)
  • A very thorough NYT column by Ron Lieber offers a lot of valuable information, as well as questions he’s asked Equifax that have yet to be answered.

Everyone loves to hear that your personal data has been compromised in a major breach like the recent one from #Equifax. Yaaay!  Seriously, though - it can be a major headache but it's vital that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your future. We rounded up the best tips for how to protect your credit, including how to freeze your credit and how to set up a fraud alert, as well as looking into credit protection services like Lifelock, LifeLock, and ID Watchdog.

The post How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Data Breach appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Equifax is waiving credit freeze fees for 30 days

Following the Equifax data breach that has potentially exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans, money expert Clark Howard is urging everyone to freeze their credit.

Many people have said Equifax should pay for security freezes because the credit reporting agency created this giant mess.

Equifax temporarily drops credit freeze fees

Read more: Equifax hack: 5 things to expect when you freeze your credit

Now, several tweets from Equifax’s account on Monday confirm that the company will waive the fees for placing and removing security freezes, at least for now:

What happens after 30 days? We’ll have to wait and see. Clark said on the radio show that he would like to see Equifax pay for these fees over the long haul.

“I hope as the lawsuits come up with Equifax that one of the things they’re forced to do is reimburse all of us for the cost of credit freezes and thaws that we have to do for the rest of our lives,” Clark said.

Equifax’s data breach website doesn’t have any additional details on the fee waiver, as of Tuesday afternoon.

It’s important to point out that placing a credit freeze with Equifax isn’t enough. You will still likely need to pay a few bucks to complete the process with Experian and TransUnion.

I was able to freeze my credit with all three bureaus in 17 minutes using Clark’s step-by-step guide.

Read more: Credit Freeze Guide: The best way to protect yourself against identity theft

Listen: Clark answers your questions about the Equifax hack



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Credit the NYPD for finally bringing a murder-free J’Ouvert

Credit the NYPD for this year’s murder-free J’Ouvert — even if the street party that precedes the West Indian Day Parade wasn’t entirely peaceful. Cops and city officials this year moved J’Ouvert’s start time from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. while fencing off the festivities, adding police checkpoints and screening revelers for weapons and booze….
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How to Report Your Clients’ Payments to the Business Credit Bureaus

More and more, entrepreneurs understand the importance of building strong business credit. Good business credit is a valuable asset that can help open up new financing and business opportunities, and save business owners money when they borrow.

 

(Image: iStock/m-imagephotography)

Would you like to help your customers or clients enjoy those advantages? You can, if you start reporting payment history to commercial credit reporting agencies. Many small business owners extend payment terms to their clients, or provide goods or services before getting paid. If you’re one of them, you may be able to report those customer payment records so they appear on commercial credit reports. (You can keep an eye on your own business credit for free every month on Nav.)

But why would you want to go to that effort? Here are four reasons.

Encourage Good Behavior

Let’s face it— when money is tight most of us prioritize bills that will affect our credit over those that don’t. Why should businesses be any different? When you let your customers know you report you are subtly encouraging them to move your invoice to the top of the pile. One commercial credit bureau even provides free stickers you can put on invoices to remind customers that their payments will be part of their credit record.

Help Your Customers Build Business Credit

By reporting those payments to commercial credit agencies you can help your clients build positive business credit references that help them build strong business credit scores. Your customers’ good payment histories will be reflected in their credit scores. Not all companies report to these agencies, and as business owners learn about the importance of establishing strong business credit, they often seek out and do business with companies that report.

Make Better Decisions

When you work with a commercial credit reporting agency to report data, you can also enlist its help to improve your data and decisions. The credit reporting agency can help you understand historic data and trends, and develop predictive scoring, explains Gail Beltz, director, Trade Acquisition for Experian Business Information Services.

Help Other Entrepreneurs Avoid Deadbeats

The more data credit reporting agencies collect, the better they can help other businesses’ manage and predict risk. More data = better decisions. Other business owners can check business credit and offer credit to businesses with a track record of paying on time, as well as avoid doing business with companies that are overextended or falling behind on their bills.

It’s worth noting that commercial credit reports don’t include information about the names of creditors that share information. Instead, it is categorized by the type of lender or vendor. For example:

Intrigued? Here are two ways to get started reporting your business partners’ account histories to business credit reporting agencies.

How to Report to Experian

Experian says nearly all — 99.9% — U.S. companies are in its commercial credit database, which contains comprehensive, third-party verified data. Any business that invoices another business may report information about business customer’s payments. In other words, if you bill a business customer and get paid later, you are eligible to report.

If you’d like to become a reporting partner, start the process by contacting Experian by phone at 1-800-478-0650; by email at BISdatareporting@experian.com; or go to Experian’s website.  

There is no cost to report, and no minimum number of accounts that must be reported. Experian is very flexible in terms of how information is reported. They will work with you to make sure your data is properly reported.

In addition, Experian has a dedicated commercial relations department that will contact you in the case of disputes to request verification.

How to Report to Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet offers several commercial credit report and score products, but it’s best known for its Paydex score. It has more than 12,000 trade partners around the world contributing more than 1.5 billion updates to trade information each year.

To get started reporting, you can contact your Dun & Bradstreet Relationship Manager, or visit its website.

Generally, you can report to Dun & Bradstreet if you become part of its Trade Exchange Program. There is no cost to report. You must have at least 300 active credit customers, or be a member of its DNBi or PPP service. You may be able to connect your Quickbooks account to make reporting easier.

As a bonus, you’ll get stickers you can put on your invoices that note you report to Dun & Bradstreet. They may give your customers the “nudge” they need to pay on time.

Can’t Report? Try This

Some business owners want to report their clients or customers that aren’t paying their bills. If your business is unable to report customer information as described above, another option is to hire a debt collector. The collection agency may have a relationship with credit reporting agencies that allows it to report those debts.

More from Nav

This article originally appeared on Nav.com.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Perks Abound For Black Credit Cardholders As Issuers Battle For New Customers

There are fabulous sign-up bonuses for credit cards that can potentially add several hundreds of dollars to your pocket.

 

(Image: iStock/AndreyPopov)

 

For customers who travel on a specific airline, there are perks including free checked baggage, priority boarding, and free companion tickets. These perks can easily offset the annual fee plus more if the cardholder flies a few times annually.

For annual fee cards, there are issuers who may waive the fee in the first year. Users with an existing balance on another card may be able to get a low-interest rate, or no-interest for 12 to 18 months.

Welcome to the nation’s credit card industry, where black credit card users can now benefit greatly from increased competition among credit card providers. Forces such as rising interest rates and strong consumer spending are prompting credit companies and banks to offer more incentives to sign up new customers. An incentive fueling the high levels of overall satisfaction among credit card customers is cash-back rewards, based on the J.D. Power 2017 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

A  ‘Great Time’ To Be A Credit Cardholder

 

“It’s a really good time to be a credit card customer. Overall satisfaction is up across the board, and growing numbers of card companies and regional banks are coming to the market with new products that offer rich sign-up bonuses, increased cash-back rewards and new benefits,” says Jim Miller, senior director of the banking practice at J.D. Power.

“The key for issuers in this highly competitive marketplace is to develop strategies that increase customer satisfaction, which, in turn, decrease attrition and promote higher levels of credit card spend.”

Takeaways From the J.D. Power Study Cardholders Should Know

 

  • Overall customer satisfaction with credit card issuers this year reached its highest level in the study’s 11-year history (802 on a 1,000-point scale). Scores were highest for cards that offer cash-back rewards programs. Conversely, airline cards and store-branded Visa/MasterCard reward credit cards ranked lower for satisfaction among reward cards.

 

  • Credit issuer websites and mobile offerings are becoming more prevalent on the cardholder satisfaction front. Satisfaction is only 780 when customers don’t use those channels. Satisfaction grows to 807 when folks use online only and rise to 827 among those who use mobile only. Satisfaction reaches its peak (834) when customers use both online and mobile.

 

  • Customers over 40 are becoming more satisfied, while satisfaction scores for customers under that age is dropping. Younger customers are more apt to use many cards for spending and more likely to switch from their main credit card. Better rewards is a reason older customers (44%) are likely to switch cards, while greater benefits is a factor why younger customers (38%) are most likely to change.

 

  • When it comes to credit card issuers, American Express (835) ranks first in customer satisfaction, Discover (827) and Capital One (808). This year’s study includes responses from 22,896 credit card customers, including 1,246 African Americans.

Blacks Most Satisfied With Credit Card Companies

 

Interestingly, black cardholders are the most satisfied with their credit company for several reasons, including customer service and perks offered. They are followed by Latino/Hispanic 816, White/Caucasian 803 and Asian/Asian American 781.

Miller says credit card issuers are also focusing on increasing their benefits, including most offering a free credit score, travel-related insurance, and other services. Some cards offer discounts at specific retailers. Miller added mobile apps are making it very easy for cardholders to see their transactions and balances in real time.

“There have never been more credit card choices so there is likely a good card that fits each customer’s needs,” Miller says.

 

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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This credit card alternative could be bad for your wallet

The financial services company Affirm is partnering with a growing number of retailers to offer installment loans with no hidden fees and surprises.

It may sound like a good alternative to credit cards, but money expert Clark Howard has a warning for you.

What you need to know about Affirm loans

Read more: One simple step to avoid a drain on your bank account

Here’s an example of how Affirm works: Let’s say you find a vacation package on Expedia but don’t have the money to pay for it. The online lender instantly approves you for the loan and offers several payment plans.

Once you return from your trip, your first monthly payment will be due — with an interest rate as high as 30%!

The company says it charges no late fees, service fees or prepayment fees, but it reserves the right to refer delinquent accounts to a collection agency if you don’t pay your bill.

Since Affirm reports information to Experian, late or missed payments could also hurt your credit score.

The problem is that these instant loans encourage impulse spending — and it doesn’t have to be a pricey vacation! Affirm will spread payments over a period of 12 months for loans of $ 100 or more.

To put that in perspective, you could easily pay more than $ 15 in interest on just a $ 100 loan!

“You’re going to see this very heavily through the fall shopping season leading into Christmas with all kinds of items that you never could have imagined that you could finance, you’ll be able to do so,” Clark said on the radio show. “The far better alternative, if you don’t have the money, do layaway.”

One thing that works for my budget is delaying spending. Take a day or two to decide whether the purchase is a “want” or a “need” and only buy it if you can really afford it.

Read more: New tool offers credit card perks without debit card dangers


clark.com

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5 Signs Your Business Is Ready for a Credit Card

Your business is your baby, and everyone loves charting their baby’s progress and milestones. Experiencing your first sale, your first employee and your first website can feel just like seeing your child roll over, walk or say their first words.

So when is the right time to get your business its own credit card? If these five indicators sound familiar, now may be time to apply for one.

(Image: iStock/kali9)

1. You want a business loan down the road.

Of all the ways to finance your business, an SBA loan is pretty much your best option. If you want very low interest rates, long repayment terms and an affordable down payment, this is this cream of the crop. Unfortunately, they’re not easy to get, especially if you’re just starting your business.

If you have good personal credit you’re much more likely to be able to get a business credit card by using a personal guarantee (and there are still options if your personal credit is less-than-stellar). By using your business credit card and repaying on-time every month, you can start establishing a credit profile for your business so you can get that coveted SBA loan down the road. (You can check your personal and business credit scores for free on Nav.)

2. You travel a lot.

If you travel for work, getting a company credit card should be on top of your ever-growing to-do list. Whether you’re flying or driving on company business, you can use your company credit card to make purchases. This will also help you keep track of receipts and other important information crucial to your bookkeeping.

But a major bonus of using your business credit card is the airline miles you could be receiving. For example, Delta frequent flyers can take advantage of co-branded cards with American Express and earn miles for every dollar spent, plus bonus miles for signing up, as well as priority boarding on flights.

3. You buy a lot of supplies or inventory.

Many businesses use trade credit to purchase their supplies, which is also a great way to build business credit. Understandably, not everything can be bought on trade credit, which is where a business credit card can come in handy.

When choosing a card that you plan on using for business supplies, look for one with a low APR to avoid paying a lot of interest on purchases. Some cards also reward business owners with double points when used at gas stations, office supply stores or home improvement stores, so be sure to look for these perks when researching cards.

4. You have employees who make purchases for the company.

As a business owner, you’ll come to the realization that you can’t do everything yourself. And hopefully at some point during your tenure as head honcho, you’ll enjoy the company of a few superstar employees who are willing and able to help you achieve your goals.

There are pros and cons of trusting your employees with a company card, so make sure you know what you’re getting into. Only you can accurately assess who’s ready for such a responsibility, but authorizing an employee or two to carry out purchases in your business’s name can let you skip the cycle of tracking expense reports and reimbursing purchases.

5. You want to maximize your spending.

Maybe you don’t care so much about bonus miles, APRs or double points at office supply stores — but no business owner can overlook cash back. Several business credit cards, such as the Chase Ink Business Cash Card, offer at least 1% cash back on all purchases, with higher rewards in certain categories. (Cash-back business cards are best suited for businesses that are paying their balance in full every month as APRs can negate any rewards earned if you carry a balance.)

Be sure to follow the common sense rules of credit card ownership: don’t take on more debt than you can handle, pay every month on time and enjoy the benefits of the credit card you’ve selected.

More from Nav

This article originally appeared on Nav.com.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Credit cards are clamping down on payments to hate groups

Some major credit card companies are clamping down on payments and donations to white supremacists and other hate groups. Visa and Discover have stopped allowing websites run by violent hate groups to use their cards to accept payments — with Discover citing the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va. “In light of recent events, we are…
Business | New York Post

SPECIAL SHOE DISCOUNT UPDATE:

New security warning about chip credit cards

Chip credit cards, or EMV credit cards, are the new standard in credit card technology.

Unlike magnetic stripe cards, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that can’t be used again, which is why they’re generally more secure, CreditCards.com reports.

But recently, a new security risk involving chip cards has been uncovered.

Read more: New tool offers credit card perks without debit card dangers

Chip card warning: What you need to know

Investigative reporter Jason Knowles of WLS-TV in Chicago says the chip in his credit card fell out, but he didn’t notice it for days because so many places still let you swipe your card.

When he called his bank to tell them about it, they said a fraudster could pick up the chip and use it on another card.

Although the chances of this happening seem pretty slim, you would want to get a replacement account and card — just like if your credit or debit card were stolen.

Also, it’s a good idea to activate email or text alerts with your bank to know whenever your card is used.

Read more: These 7 credit cards have the most potential fees

clark.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

ECOPETROL: Company Secures US$ 330 Million Credit Line With Bancolombia

Colombia’s state-owned oil company Ecopetrol will secure a 990 billion pesos (US$ 330 million) credit line with Bancolombia as part of its debt management strategy. Ecopetrol aims to strengthen its financial position in the face of future growth opportunities or unexpected price fluctuations.
RTT – Economic News

BEST ECONOMIC DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL REQUEST DONATION UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

7 Ways to Fix Your Bad Credit

Credit Score

Are you tired of having a low credit score, but have no idea where to turn to help?

If this sounds like you, then read on to find out how to repair your credit on YOUR terms. All it takes is a little elbow grease and know-how.

  1. Obtain free copies of your credit report—once per year—from www.annualcreditreport.comThe scores are not included for free, but just having the reports is a huge step in the right direction.
  2. Keep your credit utilization percentage at a MAXIMUM of 10%. That might sound super low to you, compared to the 30% that was recommended just a few short years ago. But, to get in that super, high-achievers club, 10% is the new standard. This means that if your total credit card limits are $ 10,000, your balance should never exceed $ 1,000.
  3. Consider opening an account with www.selflender.com, if you need to add positive credit to your reports. This account offers you the ability to save money, invest it into a CD,  and build your credit—all at the same time!
  4. DO NOT close any of your credit card accounts, including the ones with zero balances. Thirty-five percent of your credit score is based on the length of your credit history. If you close even one account with a long history, you will likely see an immediate drop in your scores.
  5. Open an account with your local credit union with the goal of building a long-term relationship. Once you join a credit union, you are now a member/part-owner of the credit union.  Credit unions are lower rates on credit cards, auto loans, home loans, and many other products. Also, credit unions typically have multiple options to select from if you need to rebuild credit.
  6. Consult with a trusted credit professional, if you have charged off accounts and/or past due accounts that you are thinking of paying off. You have to keep in mind that paying off a collection account doesn’t automatically remove it. In fact, paying a collection could actually lower your score, as well! You need to be well-versed in your state’s statute of limitations, if you have collections on your credit reports.
  7. DO NOT dispute errors in your reports online, and DO NOT send a barrage of disputes to the respective credit bureaus. Each dispute should be sent separately and explained in detail, to ensure that your dispute doesn’t get marked as “frivolous.”  You want the credit bureaus to thoroughly research your disputed claims, so take the time to make sure you submit thorough documentation.

Please keep in mind that rebuilding credit is a process, and it may take 180 days or more. It is important to remain patient and, most of all, proactive!  

For more information on business building, business launching and real estate income streams, sign up for our next FREE webinar at www.bit.ly/daniellepierce.

 


This article was written by The BOSS Network Influencer, Danielle Pierce.

Danielle is a Speaker, Author, Business Coach and 10 Year Real Estate Wealth Strategist. She specializes in showing mompreneurs how to elevate their lifestyle and create generational wealth through real estate. Register for her next webinar at www.bit.ly/daniellepierce.

Learn more about Danielle Pierce by visiting her website at www.mommyandmerealestate.com

Follow Danielle on Twitter @_DaniellePierce

Money – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

Is AmEx liable for explaining the risks of credit downgrading?

Dear John: I received an offer for an American Express platinum card that promised me 100,000 points when I was approved. After a month, I called AmEx customer service to see about switching to the EveryDay card. I was assured that downgrading would have absolutely no impact on my award points. So I switched. Within…
Business | New York Post

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Personal Credit Score vs. Business Credit Score: Everything You Need to Know (And More)

Credit Score

With an estimated 99.95 percent of small business owners and entrepreneurs opting for debt financing, knowing how to prepare your business for a loan application is a must.

Among the documents that a lender will review, your personal credit, as well as your business credit are criteria that play an important role—both can either assist or, in some cases, obstruct, your ability to secure financing.

Let’s review some key strategies that everyone needs to know about personal credit score vs business credit score.

 

Personal Credit Score vs Business Credit Score, What’s the Difference?

 

These two scores are often independent of each other and they measure different things. Your personal credit score measures your creditworthiness—your personal ability to pay back a debt. On the other hand, a business credit score measures the ability of your business to meet its own financial obligations. Let’s take a look at each one in a bit more detail.

 

Personal Credit

 

What It Is

Your personal credit score helps a lender evaluate whether or not to offer you credit, how much to lend you, and what terms (e.g. APR, requirement of collateral) to use. While different personal credit scores have different ranges, one thing never changes: the higher the score, the more financially trustworthy a borrower is considered to be.

Who and What Determines Your Personal Credit Score

Using your Social Security Number (SSN) and your credit history, the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) assign your creditworthiness a score, all using variations of the FICO Score algorithm.

Ranging from 300 to 850, the FICO personal credit score is made of five key components:

  • Payment history (35%): The most important factor in a FICO score is your payment history to lenders. Your ability to pay on time is the first thing that lenders take a look at.
  • Amounts owed (30%): The whole point of seeking a high credit score is to be able to borrow money when you need to. Owing money doesn’t necessarily make you a high-risk borrower but maxing out your credit cards and carrying a high balance on them for several months will negatively affect your FICO score.
  • Length of credit history (15%): It takes time to build a good credit score. In general, the longer a credit history, the higher a FICO credit score.
  • Credit mix (10%): There are different types of debt, including retail cards, credit cards, car loans, and more. Without some form of debt, FICO can’t determine your score. So, you need to responsibly use credit cards and installment loans to start (and build up!) your score.
  • New credit (10%): FICO believes that opening several new credit accounts within a short period of time increases your credit risk.

Tips to Boost Your Personal Credit Score

  1. Automate your credit payments. Since paying your lenders on time represents 35% of your FICO score, sign up for automatic payments for all of your credit accounts. Most lenders allow you to set up auto payment using your bank’s routing number and account numbers. Another option is to schedule payments using the bill payment service from your bank or a third-party payment processor, such as Mint.com or MyCheckFree.com.
  2. Adjust your due dates. You don’t have to settle for a due date that is poorly timed with your paycheck. Except for those of mortgages, most due dates can be adjusted with a quick phone call. Depending on your lender, the change may take two to three bill periods to take effect.
  3. Aim for a credit utilization ratio of 30%. Whenever you can, pay off your credit cards in full month after month. If that’s not possible, then aim to have a balance of no more than 30% than your credit limit for each card. A credit utilization ratio of under 30% across all cards is a sign for lenders that you’re managing your credit responsibly.
  4. Handle new credit carefully. Chasing too many of those deep discounts for opening store cards will eventually catch up with you. Every time that you open a new account, your FICO score takes a small hit. So, open a new card only when you really need to.
  5. Don’t close oldest accounts. The number of years that you have held each one of your cards and debts affects your length of credit history. By closing your oldest account, you may dramatically reduce your length of credit history and negatively affect personal credit score.
  6. Order your free credit report every 12 months. FICO and all lenders use your credit history to determine your creditworthiness, so making sure that your credit report is accurate is a must. Every 12 months request your credit report. Verify that all your personal data, including SSN and mailing address, and listed accounts are correct. To dispute any inconsistencies, follow the instructions on your credit report or file a dispute online with EquifaxExperian, or TransUnion.

 

Business Credit

 

What It Is

Also known as a trade or commercial credit score, your business credit score helps financial institutions to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for debt financing. A high business credit score can improve your chances of obtaining a business loan—and likely, you’ll be able to receive much more favorable terms. Alternatively, a low score can mean higher interest rates, and in some cases, even prevent you from being eligible to borrow.

Additionally, vendors and suppliers often check your business credit score when considering whether to invoice your business on a Net 30 or Net 60 basis.

Who and What Determines Your Business Credit Score

Just like a SSN for individuals, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) allows the IRS and the credit reporting bureaus to track businesses. If your small business is incorporated and has an EIN, registering it with Equifax, Experian, or Dun & Bradstreet is the first step to establish your business credit score.

  • Equifax: Using your business’ payment history, ratio of available credit to utilized credit, age and size, demographics, and public records, Equifax scores your small business credit in a range from 101 to 992 on the Small Business Credit Risk Score for Financial Services and in a range from 101 to 816 on the Small Business Credit Risk Score for Suppliers. Equifax takes the small business owner’s personal credit score into consideration as well.
  • Experian: Ranging from 1 to 100, Experian’s business credit score takes into consideration similar factors as Equifax. Experian gathers data from lenders and vendors that have extended a credit line or loaned money to your business and compares all of that data to peers in your industry.
  • Dun & Bradstreet: Focusing on the one-year payment history of your business, a financial stress score, and other data from at least four vendors, Dunn & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX report uses a 100-point scale to rank your business credit.

Tips to Boost Your Business Score

  1. Establish credit lines with vendors and supplies. It takes data to create business credit scores and Dun & Bradstreet requires at least four vendors to generate its report. Take the time to build up relationships with vendors and suppliers so that they’re willing to sell you on credit on 30- or 60-day basis. No matter how small a vendor is, he or she may become a future trade reference for your business at the time of a loan or business credit score request.
  2. Make timely payments. Return the favor by paying to those vendors and suppliers on time at all times. This will not only help you create a solid payment history but also make those businesses and individuals more likely to report your payment history to the credit reporting bureaus.
  3. Aim to cover all your annual debt obligations with net income. Just because your business can borrow up to $ 100,000 from a credit line, does not mean you should borrow the full $ 100,000. A useful rule of thumb is that your net income (revenue after subtracting all costs of doing business) should be at least equal to your annual debt obligations. Showing that your business’ cash inflows is sufficient to meet its obligations has a positive impact on your business credit score.
  4. Request your business credit report today. Having a have a couple of months—instead of a couple weeks—makes improving your business credit a more feasible project. Building business credit takes time, so it’s useful to get a picture of what is your current score and what are areas for improvement. Some credit bureaus, such as Experian, provide you reason codes that help explain your score and provide advice on how to improve it.
  5. Track your business credit every quarter. That’s how little it can take for your score to change and can give you a heads up on a damaging report from a vendor or on the effects of an increase in your utilized credit. Take the lessons from every credit score report to learn how to become the type of borrower that a lender caters to in the future.
  6. Check your report for inaccuracies. If you find an error in your report, report it right away to the relevant bureau using supporting documentation. Pay particular attention to errors in information under public records. Bankruptcies, judgments from debt collection lawsuit, and creditor’s legal rights to seize your property in the past seven years on your report could lead to an automatic denial of your loan application.

 

Do I Really Need a Business Credit Score?

 

Yes, because a business credit score helps you in separating your business from your personal finances. During the application process, your underwriter will take a look at additional documentation, such as bank statements or business credit reports. Keeping your finances separate is important for two key reasons.

  • Tax purposes. While you can claim an extensive list of small business tax deductions, you need to provide appropriate supporting documentation. In case of an audit, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate that every single deduction was an actual expense directly related to your business operation. If you’re unable to clearly demonstrate that, you may be subject to penalties, including negligence, late payment, and fraud.
  • Liability for debts: If your business is structured as a corporation or limited liability company, documenting that your finances are separate prevents a creditor from having a stake on your personal assets to satisfy a debt.

How to Do It

  1. Establish a separate legal entity for your business. Choose a business legal structure that works best for your unique situation. If you’re considering to form a corporation, consult with a lawyer and accountant to have a good understanding of applicable rules, including those for tax reporting, compliance, and operation.
  2. Apply for an EIN online for free. You will need this to stay on top of your small business finances, report to the IRS, and establish your business credit score.
  3. Establish a business credit score. Because it’s supporting evidence that demonstrates your business’ payment history. It doesn’t hurt that it will also help you secure the necessary debt financing to fuel the growth of your business.
  4. Open a business checking account and credit card. Using your EIN, establish separate bank accounts and credit cards for your business. The statements from these accounts are appropriate supporting documentation to keep track of business expenses.
  5. Hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant. Commingling your finances can backfire at the time of tax filing or loan application. It’s possible that you misunderstand what would be considered personal debt.  Could be you have business debts you’ve forgotten to include in your financial statements. Hiring the services of a professional bookkeeper or accountant enables you to focus on the core operations of your business. It also helps you better meet compliance requirements. When evaluating bookkeepers and accountants, pay close attention to their schedule of fees and range of services.

 

This article was written by  and originally appeared on DUE.com.


Samantha Novick is the Social Media Manager at Bond Street, a company focused on transforming small business lending through technology, data and design. Bond Street offers term loans of up to $ 1 million, with interest rates starting at 6%.

Money – Black Enterprise

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Here’s How to Spot a Credit Card Skimmer at a Gas Station or ATM

There’s a popular new scam that is causing major problems for people.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Edisto Federal Credit Union Receive Tribute & Health Assistance by Charles Myrick of ACRX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.

Atlanta Teachers Federal Credit Union Receive Tribute & Charity by ACRX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.

American Consultants Rx Charity Help Donated To Lakeside Federal Credit Union By Charles Myrick

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.

Detachable Leather Protective Case with Stand Holder And Two Credit Card Holders for iPad 2/3/4 Brown

Detachable Leather Protective Case with Stand Holder And Two Credit Card Holders for iPad 2/3/4 Brown


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American Consultants Rx Charity Donation To Houston Municipal Credit Union By Charles Myrick

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.