How To Repair A Bad Credit History

We all get into financially tight situations from time to time. Short term financial demands can catch anyone by surprise. It could be around the birth of a new child, medical expenses or just Christmas or birthdays. Whatever the reason, without care, financially tight situations can result in a bad credit history.

It’s possible to get a bad credit history very easily. The credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax and Transunion, maintain details on almost every adult in the country and they have a level of detail that for many is frightening.

As a matter of course the credit reference agencies have your personal details, your name, address and previous addresses, as well as credit information. If you have a mortgage they know about it. If you have any loans, credit cards or store cards they know about them and they know what payments you make.

If you rent your home the odds are they know. In fact they usually know the details of virtually all financial arrangements where there is any risk of a debt arising.

If you’ve applied for loans, credit cards or many other purchases or financial arrangements they know you applied, even if the application was unsuccessful. They also know how much you borrow, your monthly repayments and if you are ever late with a payment - even if it’s by one day and caused by things outside your control!

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Wal-Mart considers acquisitions in U.S

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is considering acquisitions in its home market as it seeks to open smaller stores and limit its reliance on giant supercenters for growth, the Financial Times reported in its online edition.

The move is seen as a response to the imminent opening in the United States of Tesco’s (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) “Fresh & Easy” neighborhood grocery markets, the report said.

The world’s largest retailer is seeking an executive to assess the “strategic implications of any possible M&A on our overall portfolio,” according to a Wal-Mart job posting cited by the FT.

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Making easy money with Amazon+Adwords without a website or technical exp.

While you’re required to have a website to sign up to the Amazon Associates program (UK, US), there’s nothing in the rules about having to use it to promote your links. It’s perfectly acceptable to pass links around in emails, or even per-per-click campaigns.

I decided to try my hand at putting some Amazon referral URLs directly into Google Adwords to see if I could make a few quid. I’ve never played the PPC game before, so I stuck £10 into my account, planning not to spend any more unless I was making a profit.

With both Halo 3 and the Xbox 360 Elite coming up, I thought bidding on “preorder Halo 3″ and “preorder xbox 360 elite” might make a few quid. While I didn’t sell many preorders, I have been making a few quid, so I thought I’d share some of my ideas. If you disagree or have any more, please leave comments below :)

The Goal is not Clicks
One really important thing when bidding on PPC is to remember that the goal is not to get as many clicks as possible. Anyone can write an advert that people will click out of curiosity, but that will just cost you money. You want to write your advert so that it will only be clicked by people prepared to buy.

Choose Specific Keywords
When trying to shift Halo 3 preorders, I deliberately didn’t bid on “Halo 3″ as a keyword. Think about how many people are searching for “Halo 3″ on Google, and what they’re after. A large portion of them will be looking for reviews, release dates, screenshots etc. Remember, we want buyers not clickers. In the end, I only bid on a few terms, and they all contained the word preorder or reserve since people searching for “preorder Halo 3″ are likely targets for ordering.

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Alarming rate of foreclosures grab political limelight in Cleveland

Cleveland is no more a place where a person can have peaceful possession of their dream home. Instead, it has become a home for homes with signs that say “resale” or “foreclosed property”. It is among the top list of
foreclosures. People here took sub-prime loans to buy their houses and now the same loan is forcing them out of their homes.

The number of foreclosures is increasing drastically every year in Cleveland and Cuyahoga. In 1995, the count was 3410, whereas in 2006, the count went up to 7010. It has gone up still further this year. Within seven months, it has become a whopping 13610 houses! Countrywide, the prevailing foreclosure rate is one for every 129 houses. In Cleveland, at least 30 percent of the sub-prime loans have become bad deals. Those who are in either a poor credit bracket or those who cannot get loans avail of sub-prime loans. However, an increase in the interest rates increases the monthly installment making it more difficult for the property owners to pay off the money borrowed.

County treasurer estimates that the count will exceed $1 trillion. This is far more than the loss of $300 billion that the county faced last year. Its implications on the financial institutions and subsequently on the New York Stock Exchange are very clear. Wall Street is having a tough time. Oversees too, the credit crisis is affecting economies.

The non-profit organizations are taking a stand against the foreclosure crisis .The non-profit group ESOP – “Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People” are helping those who have fallen into the prey of predatory loans. With their efforts, few people have managed to get out of this net. Many people from Cleveland, Euclid, Parma and many other places are
approaching ESOP to help them out with this problem. People from every stratum – homemakers, workers, nurses – approach them. Until now, they have helped more than 709 homeowners.

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Bad news: Home sales hit slowest pace in 5 years

Sales of existing homes dropped for a fifth straight month in July, falling to the slowest pace in nearly five years, while home prices fell for a record 12th consecutive month.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes dipped by 0.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.75 million units.

The median price of a home sold last month slid to $230,200, down by 0.6 percent from the median price a year ago. It marked the 12th consecutive month that home prices have declined, a record stretch.

The deep slump in housing, combined with recent severe turmoil in financial markets, has raised worries about a possible recession. But many economists believe the Federal Reserve will ward off a full-blown downturn by reducing a key short-term interest rate should financial market conditions fail to stabilize.

The steep slump in housing has trimmed overall growth for the past year and recently the economy has been shaken by spillover effects in financial markets. Rising defaults in subprime mortgages have triggered a serious credit crunch as investors have worried that hedge funds and other big investors in securities backed by subprime loans could suffer serious losses.

The 0.2 percent drop in July sales, compared with activity in June, marked the fifth straight monthly decline and left sales 9 percent below the level of a year ago. The sales pace was the slowest since November 2002.

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Could The U.S. National Debt Be Used As An Economic Weapon Against US

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 — For years, the Bush administration has shrugged off concerns about the trillions of dollars that the United States owes to China, Japan and oil-producing countries in the Middle East, arguing that these debts give no undue leverage to foreign governments.

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The New York Times
But at a time of global financial instability, the administration has started to worry that foreign governments are increasingly converting their dollar holdings into investment funds to acquire companies, real estate, banks and other assets in the United States and elsewhere. The fear is that these so-called sovereign wealth funds could destabilize markets or provoke a political backlash.

In response, the Bush administration is pressing the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to examine the behavior of these funds, which control up to $2.5 trillion in investments, and develop possible codes of conduct for them. Among the proposed rules would be an obligation to disclose investment methods and to avoid interfering in a host country’s politics.

Officially, the United States welcomes all investments, except those that could compromise national security. “Money is naturally going to gravitate toward dollar-based assets because of the strength of our economy,” the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., said in an interview. “I’d like nothing more than to get more of that money. But I understand that there’s a natural fear that they’re going to buy up America.”

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Money: Educate Yourself With 20 Investments

Want to diversify your financial portfolio? Try reading Forbes’ writeup of twenty investment options, part of their stellar Investopedia service.
You’ll learn about all sorts of good stuff here: annuities, common stocks, corporate bonds, etc. Each definition is short and to the point, including information on objectives and risks.

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How Did The Nations Largest Banks & Investors Miss The Mortgage Crisis?

All through last year, Jim Melcher saw the signs of a rapidly deteriorating American housing market — riskier mortgages, rising delinquencies and more homes falling into foreclosure. And with $100 million in assets at his hedge fund, Balestra Capital, he was in a position to do something about it.

So in October, as mortgage-backed bonds were still flying high, he bet $10 million that these bonds would plunge in value, using complex derivatives available to any institutional investor. As his gamble began to pay off in the first months of 2007, Mr. Melcher, a money manager based in New York, plowed the profits into ever bigger wagers that the mortgage crisis would worsen further, eventually risking some $60 million of the fund’s money.

“We saw the opportunity of a lifetime, and since then events have unfolded on schedule,” he said. Mr. Melcher’s flagship fund has since doubled in value, even as this summer’s market turmoil cost other investors billions, forced the closing of several major hedge funds and pushed the stock market down 7 percent since mid-July. This week, Mr. Melcher is heading to Paris for a vacation with his wife.

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What I Do to Live Frugally

A long time back, Mapgirl tagged me to write about what I do to live frugally. That was right around the time when my cyclical behavior was in the most unfrugal part of the cycle. What’s worse, it was followed in the next few days by our old car dying and us deciding to buy an un-frugal car (which was still pre-owned but cost us more than what we thought we would ever pay for a car). With all this going on, I couldn’t bring myself to write a post about what I do to live frugally! But now, the dark days are behind us (hopefully) and we are striving hard to get back to our old selves. Frankly I am not much of a person for memes and tagging, and I don’t really know what the rules for participation are, and it is probably too late for me be part of this meme anyway. But writing about what I used to do to live frugally seems like a good exercise to make me think about what I need to do in the future to stay on track, so I decided to write about it anyway.

Cook at home as often as possible: I love cooking exotic dishes once in a while. And I *hate* regular everyday cooking. I am a foodie and at the end of a busy day spending an hour in the kitchen to fix a plain (aka “healthy and nutritious”) meal just doesn’t feel like it is worth the effort. But I have been trying hard to get into the habit and before this last break down, I used to cook 4-6 times a week! I need to get back in that mode. Since the last couple of week I have started getting back on track and have cooked about 5 times each week – just need to make sure that the habit sticks and I do not give in to the temptation to just pick up some food on my way home.

Take lunch with me to work at least 3 times a week: This is one thing I am really proud of. Even during my bleakest unfrugal days, I have stuck with this schedule. It has been a little over a year since I started working, and in the entire period I think I have gone out for lunch more than twice a week only 4-5 times, and even during those weeks, the max I ate out was 3 times a week. My next goal is to see if I can go for another year with less than 4-5 slip-ups.

We have coffee and breakfast at home, rest of the time we drink free coffee available at office. We don’t entirely ban coffee houses or starbucks, but usually reserve it for occasions when we meet old friends. Over time, we have come to associate coffee houses, with lazy leisurely evenings spent catching up and swapping old stories. And being loathe to spoil that association keeps us away from running in and out for an overpriced cup of coffee that is drank in a hurry at the desk or while driving.

We don’t have a telephone land line: We have gone for over 4 years now without a phone land line and have not missed it a bit. We both make sure that our cell phones stay charged all the time, so we are never at a loss of an instrument to make calls from. On the cell phone we have the least expensive plans with fairly low minutes, but since many of our friends have the same service provider, we get to talk to them for free. Only once in the past 4 years have we paid for extra minutes.

Shop for pretty much everything during “sale” and after researching the prices thoroughly. Avoid impulse buy. One of the first lessons someone told me when I landed in the US is that if you pay full price to buy anything, you are a sucker. At first I thought it was a joke. But now, I firmly believe it. As long as you can avoid impulse buying, you can get pretty much anything on sale.

Drive our cars to death: People who are regular visitors to this blog may be surprised that I have listed this here since I recently confessed that we bought a fairly unfrugal car. Over the long run though, our car ownership turns out to be quite frugal. We take good care of our cars (regular oil changes, get necessary repairs done as soon as we possibly can etc.,) and drive the car until the wheels fall off – literally. The car we just replaced was 14 years old and had 165K miles on it and we drove it until the engine finally quit on us. Both our current cars now are pre-owned and we plan to use them (hopefully) past the 150K mile mark too!

Hang out with like minded friends: It’s not just how frugal you are, but who you hang out with. If all the friends around you are spenders, then some time or the other you will crack up and give up being frugal. In our case, we have been fortunate enough to have friends who are fairly like-minded. Even though frugality is not the core of our conversation or anything, we still end up making choices that do not require too much expenditure, and still end up having a blast.

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Who owns CNN? or MSNBC? ABC?

So ya think we have a “free press” eh? Check out who owns who, and who owns what you think…….

GENERAL ELECTRIC –(donated 1.1 million to GW Bush for his 2000 election campaign)

Television Holdings:
* NBC: includes 13 stations, 28% of US households.
* NBC Network News: The Today Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Meet the Press, Dateline NBC, NBC News at Sunrise.
* CNBC business television; MSNBC 24-hour cable and Internet news service (co-owned by NBC and Microsoft); Court TV (co-owned with Time Warner), Bravo (50%), A&E (25%), History Channel (25%).
The “MS” in MSNBC
means microsoft
The same Microsoft that donated 2.4 million to get GW bush elected.

Other Holdings:
* GE Consumer Electronics.
* GE Power Systems: produces turbines for nuclear reactors and power plants.
* GE Plastics: produces military hardware and nuclear power equipment.
* GE Transportation Systems: runs diesel and electric trains.

Westinghouse Electric Company, part of the Nuclear Utilities Business Group of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL)
whos #1 on the Board of Directors? None other than:
Frank Carlucci (of the Carlyle Group)

Television Holdings:
* CBS: includes 14 stations and over 200 affiliates in the US.
* CBS Network News: 60 minutes, 48 hours, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CBS Morning News, Up to the Minute.
* Country Music Television, The Nashville Network, 2 regional sports networks.
* Group W Satellite Communications.
Other Holdings:
* Westinghouse Electric Company: provides services to the nuclear power industry.
* Westinghouse Government Environmental Services Company: disposes of nuclear and hazardous wastes. Also operates 4 government-owned nuclear power plants in the US.
* Energy Systems: provides nuclear power plant design and maintenance.
Television Holdings:
* Paramount Television, Spelling Television, MTV, VH-1, Showtime, The Movie Channel, UPN (joint owner), Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Sundance Channel (joint owner), Flix.
* 20 major market US stations.
Media Holdings:
* Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Video, Blockbuster Video, Famous Players Theatres, Paramount Parks.
* Simon & Schuster Publishing.

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