Credit Score

Ways You Can Destroy Your Credit Score

In many ways, your credit score is the key to your financial life. It will decide if you are able to get a loan and at what terms. If your score is bad, you may find yourself unable to live a financially healthy life. Having a high score could lead to high payments. And if you have too many high payments, you may need to take out a cash advance loan to cover other essential expenses in an emergency. Knowing the ways in which your score can be damaged can help you avoid doing so.

Maxing Out Credit Cards
No matter what your ability to pay back the money, maxing out a credit card is never a good idea. You also do not want to hold a high balance. Both of these actions hurt your credit score. A portion of the score is decided by your percentage of available credit. You credit score can even go up by simply holding a low balance. Experts often recommend keeping your credit balances no higher than 35 percent of your available limit.

Missing Payments
Additionally, a vital way to keep your score high is to never miss a payment. Although it may not seem like a big deal missing one, it can hurt your credit score for months or even longer. This makes it extremely important to keep track of your payment due dates. Even if you don’t have all of the money, making a partial payment can be helpful.

One of the best ways to avoid do this is to set up automatic payments through online banking. This ensures that you always know to make a payment even if your forget at first.

Closing Old Accounts
Even if you don’t use a credit card, don’t close it. While you may think this is beneficial, it actually hurts your credit score. By keeping the card open, you can actually boost your score. This contributes to your available credit, which helps your score go up. Closing the account reduces your available credit and debt-to-credit ratio, which negatively affects your score. However, you’ll need to keep these accounts active so they will continue to be reported to credit agencies. This requires you to make occaisonal small purchases with the card and pay back the balance.…

Electric Car

High Costs Keep Electric Car Market Small

Owning an electric car can help cut down on gas expenses. However, the initial upfront cost has kept this part of the car market small, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

J.D. Power’s Inaugural Electric Vehicle Ownership Experience Study found that owners of all-electric vehicles pay a premium of $10,000 on average. Those who buy plug-in hybrids pay a $16,000 premium on average. When using average fuel costs, AEV owners would need an average of 6.5 years to make up for that premium, while PHEV owners need 11 years.

“The payback period is longer than most consumers keep their vehicle,” said Neal Oddes, senior director of the green practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “The bottom line that is that the price has to come down, which requires a technological quantum leap to reduce the battery type.”

Despite the high premium, many consumers choose these types of vehicles to save money on gas. According to the study, 45 percent of respondents said the economics benefits of fuel savings draw them to electric vehicles. Owners of electric vehicles report an $18 increase in their utility bill for charging their car. However, that is offset by the $147 they would have paid for gas in the same period.

Those shopping for an electric car will need to balance the benefit between a high premium and lower gas cars. For people who don’t want to buy an electric car, there are ways to save money when shopping.

Shop Mid-Month, Buy End-Month
The best deals on cars typically come at the end of the month or model year of a car, according to MoneyNing. However, you want to shop in the middle of the month to avoid pushy salesmen that could force you to buy more than you need. Beginning research in the middle of the month allows you to compare multiple cars and find the best price. This could help you save money and keep you from dipping into your emergency fund because you went over budget.

Consider Buying Used
If buying a new car isn’t important, going used could save you a lot of money. According to the source, most cars depreciate 30 to 40 percent after the first two years off the lot. With most cars still in good shape after two years, you could find yourself a good deal on a nice used car.…

Food Costs

Valuable Tips To Counter Rising Food Costs

With a drought in some areas of the United States food prices have been on the rise. This has affected everything from corn to meat. Higher food prices can damage your budget. If prices rise too much, you may need to dip into your emergency fund to help cover the essentials. However, there are ways to fight rising food costs.

Make A List And Stick To It
Having a shopping list helps you from buying things that aren’t necessary. With so many choices in the grocery store, it can be tempting to buy items you didn’t plan on getting. If you plan on bringing your kids, it may be smart to have them help you make the list. This ensures that you aren’t straying from the list to buy items that they want.

It is also recommended to plan your menu on what’s on sale. For example, the source said that you shouldn’t eat steak if chicken is on sale. You may also want to pay attention to the cuts of meat you are buying, as certain ones are much more expensive than others.

Use Coupons And Discount Cards
If you don’t have a grocery store discount card, get one. These cards are free and are usually needed to take advantage of special sales at the store. Some stores even allow you to accrue points that can be used for discounted gas.

Additionally, it is recommended that you search online and in the newspaper for coupons on items that you need to buy. However, if you see a good deal, it is important not to buy it just to buy it. Only get what you need.

Buy In Bulk
Although it may be a higher cost upfront, buying in bulk can save you money in the long run. Items such as toilet paper, tissues and baking products can all be bought in bulk. However, you need to be sure you buying what can be used in a reasonable period. Buying in bulk does you no good if you end up throwing stuff away. There are many big-box retailers that offer great deals for buying in bulk. Some items at these stores may not offer you a discount at all, though, so it is important to pay attention to your spending.…


Mortgage Delinquency Rate Falls In 2022

The housing market has been slowly recovering this year, and with that the mortgage delinquency rate has fallen.

TransUnion reports the national mortgage loan delinquency rate continued to decline in the third quarter. The rate was 5.41 percent, a slight drop from the second quarter rate of 5.49 percent. On a year-over-year basis, it fell nearly 8 percent from 5.88 percent.

“Continued declines in mortgage delinquency rates are a welcome sign and reflect relatively more homeowners are able and willing to make their mortgage payments each month,” said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing at TransUnion. “However, we still have a long way to go to reach more ‘normal’ conditions of a delinquency rate in the 1-2 percent range for the U.S. average.”

Western Markets See Improvements, Eastern Cities See Rate Rises
Arizona and California were two of the markets affected most by the mortgage crisis. They were also the two markets that showed the most improvement. Compared to a year ago, Arizona’s delinquency rate has dropped close to 25 percent. In California, the rates has declined nearly 24 percent.

Not all markets saw improvements, though, as the District of Columbia saw an 11 percent increase in the mortgage loan delinquency rate compared to the third quarter of 2021. New Jersey had the highest rate at 8.33 percent, a 10 percent year-over-year jump.

Those who are struggling to make their mortgage payments should consider refinancing their loan at today’s record-low rates. This could help them avoid tapping into their emergency funds. However, there are some things that need to be completed before refinancing.

• Repair Your Credit – Before applying for a refinance, you should repair your credit, according to SmartMoney. If your score is in rough shape, it would not make sense to refinance, as you wouldn’t get the best available rate. You are able to get a free credit report each year, so requesting this document and looking for areas to improve should be completed prior to refinancing.

• Contact Multiple Lenders – Although rates are at all-time lows, different lenders will offer you different interest rates. That said, you should contact multiple lenders to see who can offer you the best deal. This will ensure that you are saving the most money possible when refinancing.…